[uncountable] a worried, sad feeling after you have received an unpleasant surprise She could not hide her dismay at the result. He looked at her in dismay. To her dismay, her name was not on the list. The news has been greeted with dismay by local business leaders. See related entries: Unhappiness Word Origin Middle English: from Old French, based on Latin dis- (expressing negation) + the Germanic base of the verb may.Extra examples I felt a mounting dismay at the prospect. I read of her resignation with some dismay. Imagine my dismay when I saw his picture in the paper. It was impossible to hide my dismay at what I had seen. Louise stared at the torn letter in dismay. Much to my dismay, she was out when I called. The government has expressed ‘deep dismay’ at police violence against protesters. The laws on hunting cause dismay to many animal lovers. The news was greeted with widespread dismay. What she heard filled her with dismay. his dismay at her reaction I felt a jolt of dismay.