Also found in: Thesaurus.


tr.v. dis·mayed, dis·may·ing, dis·mays
1. To cause to lose enthusiasm or resolution; disillusion or discourage: "young executives dismayed by the corporate ladder" (Peter Grose). See Synonyms at discourage.
2. To upset or distress: "Parents may be dismayed by the mess from sand or paint spread around by the pair or group at play" (Elizabeth Noble).
A sudden or complete loss of courage in the face of trouble or danger.

[Middle English dismaien, from Anglo-Norman *desmaiier : probably de-, intensive pref.; see de- + Old French esmaier, to frighten (from Vulgar Latin *exmagāre, to deprive of power : Latin ex-, ex- + Germanic *magan, to be able to; see magh- in Indo-European roots).]

dis·may′ing·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


in a manner that dismays
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
For example, at the expense of further strengthening our West Philippine Sea (WPS) sovereign rights, the government is soft, if not dismayingly remiss, in enforcing the comprehensive WPS international decision in our favor against China.
"Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces," he wrote.
More dismayingly, there was an attrition of about one third of that number following each of the three acts, according to a house manager.
The Cold War is over, nations are increasingly bound in peace-producing mutual trade pacts, and yet the election of a dismayingly unqualified president in Washington can still produce a global funk.Life is better than its ever been, but pessimism accumulates like winter snow.
Smartphones allow a person to take selfies as fast as the index finger can click, yet from a dismayingly close distance that may leave the subject dissatisfied.
Already some 15 years ago, I complained in a Media, Culture, & Society article that audiences and readers were dismayingly absent from studies of community media.
Some comedy shows have sunk so dismayingly low that dissatisfied viewers need to collectively speak up and read them the riot act, to persuade or even shame them into improving their comedic act and service.
Instead, what we have in some dismayingly large measure is disapprobation of the judges' act.
They are terrifying and contemptible - dismayingly believable figures from the prehistory of what is now called the alt-right.

Dismayingly, the first thing an accused in Pakistan faces is being handcuffed, which are not removed even before the court.
Of course it is predicated on spending, but then financial issues lie dismayingly behind most success in football these days.