dismay


dismay
dismay vb Dismay, appall, horrify, daunt mean to unnerve and check or deter by arousing fear, apprehension, or aversion.
Dismay suggests a loss of power to proceed either because a prospect is terrifying or disheartening, or, more often, because one is balked and perplexed or at a loss concerning how to deal with a situation
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be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. Tomorrow go ye down against them—2 Chron 20:15-16

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here was an opponent that more than once puzzled Roosevelt, and in the end flatly dismayed him— Mencken

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who in one lifetime sees all causes lost, herself dismayed and helpless— Rukeyser

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Appall, in its most forceful use, implies an overwhelming and paralyzing dread or terror
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the sight appalled the stoutest hearts

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"Are you a man?" "Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that which might appall the devil"— Shak.

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The word more often implies the sense of impotence aroused when one is confronted by something that perturbs, confounds, or shocks, yet is beyond one's power to alter
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an appalling waste of human life

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appalling statistics

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the unpunctuality of the Orient ... is appalling to those who come freshly from a land of fixed mealtimes and regular train services— Huxley

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1appalled by the magnitude of the tragedy— Bowers

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Horrify may emphasize a reaction of horror or of shuddering revulsion from what is ghastly or hideously offensive
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to developed sensibilities the facts of war are revolting and horrifyingHuxley

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this theme —a man ready to prostitute his sister as payment for a debt of honor—is too grotesque even to horrify us— T. S. Eliot

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Often horrify comes close to shock in meaning and implies momentary agitation occasioned by a surprising breach of the proprieties or decencies
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they were horrified by his playing golf on Sunday

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she horrified London society by pouring hot tea on a gentleman who displeased her— Amer. Guide Series: Va.

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Daunt presupposes an attempt to do something that requires courage and implies therefore a checking or scaring off by someone or something that cows or subdues
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he had been completely daunted by what he had found . . the Revolution . . . had been something against which self-assertion had been of no avail— Mary Austin

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Daunt perhaps most often occurs in negative constructions
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nothing can daunt the man whose last concern is for his own safety

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no adventure daunted her and risks stimulated her— Ellis

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Analogous words: perplex, confound, bewilder, nonplus, dumbfound, mystify, *puzzle: disconcert, rattle, faze, abash, discomfit, *embarrass: alarm, *frighten, terrify
Antonyms: cheer
Contrasted words: assure, secure, *ensure: pique, quicken, stimulate, galvanize, excite, *provoke
dismay n alarm, consternation, panic, *fear, dread, fright, terror, horror, trepidation
Analogous words: perturbing or perturbation, agitation, disquieting or disquietude, discomposing or discomposure, upsetting or upset (see corresponding verbs at DISCOMPOSE): *apprehension, foreboding
Contrasted words: *confidence, assurance, aplomb, self-possession: *courage, mettle, spirit, resolution

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dismay — Dis*may , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Dismayed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Dismaying}.] [OE. desmaien, dismaien, OF. esmaier; pref. es (L. ex) + OHG. magan to be strong or able; akin to E. may. In English the pref. es was changed to dis (L. dis ). See {May}, v.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dismay — Dis*may , n. [Cf. OF. esmai, F. [ e]moi. See {Dismay}, v. t.] 1. Loss of courage and firmness through fear; overwhelming and disabling terror; a sinking of the spirits; consternation. [1913 Webster] I . . . can not think of such a battle without… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dismay — Dis*may , v. i. To take dismay or fright; to be filled with dismay. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dismay — [dis mā′] vt. [ME dismayen < Anglo Fr * desmaier < des , intens. + OFr esmayer, to deprive of power < VL * exmagare < L ex , from + Gmc base * mag, power: see MAIN] to make afraid or discouraged at the prospect of trouble or danger;… …   English World dictionary

  • dismay — [n] disappointed feeling; distress agitation, alarm, anxiety, apprehension, blue funk*, blues*, bummer*, chagrin, cold feet*, consternation, discouragement, disheartenment, disillusionment, downer*, dread, dumps*, fear, fright, funk*, hassle,… …   New thesaurus

  • dismay — ► NOUN ▪ discouragement and distress. ► VERB ▪ cause to feel dismay. ORIGIN Old French, related to MAY(Cf. ↑may) …   English terms dictionary

  • dismay — I noun affright, agitation, alarm, anxiety, apprehension, chagrin, consternation, discomfort, discomposure, discouragement, disheartenment, disquiet, doubt, dread, fret, inquietude, intimidation, misgiving, mistrust, perturbation, pique, qualm,… …   Law dictionary

  • dismay — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ deep (esp. BrE), great, utter ▪ The government has expressed ‘deep dismay’ at police violence against protesters. ▪ growing ▪ widespread (esp. BrE) …   Collocations dictionary

  • dismay — I n. 1) to express; feel dismay 2) dismay at, with 3) to smb. s dismay (to my dismay, he was absent again) II v. (formal) (R) it dismayed me to learn of her actions; it dismayed us that the project had been canceled * * * [dɪs meɪ] feel dismay it …   Combinatory dictionary

  • dismay — 1 noun (U) the worry, disappointment, and unhappiness you feel when something unpleasant happens: with/in dismay: Amanda read her exam results with dismay. | They stared at each other in dismay. | to sb s dismay: I found to my dismay that I had… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English


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