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From Middle English dismayen, from Anglo-Norman *desmaiier, alteration of Old French esmaier ‎(to frighten), from Vulgar Latin *exmagare ‎(to deprive (someone) of strength, to disable), from ex- + *magare ‎(to enable, empower), from Proto-Germanic *maginą, *maganą ‎(might, power), from Proto-Indo-European *mēgh- ‎(to be able). Akin to Old High German magan, megin ‎(power, might, main), Old English mæġen ‎(might, main), Old High German magan, mugan ‎(to be powerful, able), Old English magan ‎(to be able). More at main, may.



dismay ‎(uncountable)

  1. A sudden or complete loss of courage and firmness in the face of trouble or danger; overwhelming and disabling terror; a sinking of the spirits; consternation.
  2. Condition fitted to dismay; ruin.



dismay ‎(third-person singular simple present dismays, present participle dismaying, simple past and past participle dismayed)

  1. To disable with alarm or apprehensions; to depress the spirits or courage of; to deprive of firmness and energy through fear; to daunt; to appall; to terrify.
    • Bible, Josh. i. 9
      Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed.
    • Fairfax
      What words be these? What fears do you dismay?
  2. To render lifeless; to subdue; to disquiet.
    • Spenser
      Do not dismay yourself for this.
  3. To take dismay or fright; to be filled with dismay.