Definition of disillusion in US English:



  • Disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be.

    ‘enthusiasm for the government evaporated into a more cynical disillusion’
    • ‘It is the only continent we haven't yet wrecked, a pristine land left untouched by the frigid armies of disillusion, and a fit setting for playing out high - if harsh - ideals and aspirations.’
    • ‘If the participation mode is adopted, the farmers will be kept away from the disappointment or disillusion.’
    • ‘It is a proxy, not for globalisation, but for disillusion with the system.’
    • ‘And as a result, in place of the kindled hopes and artificially aroused excitement comes disillusion and apathy.’
    • ‘Barely conceivable though this is, the deepening political disillusion may come to be a force to be reckoned with.’
    • ‘Can we do more than sing our sad and bitter songs of disillusion and defeat’
    • ‘Obviously measures have been taken to rectify the situation, but there is still an impression of disillusion, if not disenchantment.’
    • ‘And now we both feel liberated to love the music again that once only seemed to represent personal disillusion and disappointment.’
    • ‘Despite the widespread practice of electoral democracy, there is considerable disillusion amongst citizens the world over about the responsiveness of formal politics.’
    • ‘After two decades the decline is stark: opinion polls show profound disillusion with the nation's privatized services and a willingness to spend more tax money to reclaim the system.’
    • ‘But this light relief could not obliterate the all-pervading sense of crisis, disillusion and frustration in the country.’
    • ‘In fact, we found it was all disillusion and discontent.’
    • ‘He's a successful, distinguished photographer who has reached the ebb tide of disillusion in his life and career.’
    • ‘When the talent is gone, the child is more likely to feel disillusion and emptiness than a normal child.’
    • ‘Second, even if they do, because of the wall of cynicism and disillusion, they don't believe we will achieve them.’
    • ‘The authorities must do what is necessary now to avoid the imminent chaos that is the likely derivative of a disillusioned faction of our society - disillusion aided by consistent disregard.’
    • ‘‘The biggest problem in politics at the moment is disillusion, cynicism, apathy,’ he recognises.’
    • ‘My disillusion was growing and I was relieved when they laid me off with a generous severance.’
    • ‘The embarrassing struggle to extricate him from Spain, where he was fighting for the Republicans, was the extent of Spender's Spanish civil war - and the beginning of his disillusion with communism.’
    • ‘The sight of people dimmed, and their voices choked with tears of disillusion, greed, envy and pride’
    disenchantment, disillusionment, disappointment, disaffection, dissatisfaction
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[with object]
  • Cause (someone) to realize that a belief or an ideal is false.

    ‘if they think we have a magic formula to solve the problem, don't disillusion them’
    • ‘The former Newbridge College player acknowledged the role of the Irish pack in not only standing up to the much-vaunted visiting unit, but in the end, disillusioning them,’
    • ‘His experience of the First World War disillusioned him with conventional cultural and moral values.’
    • ‘We ordered our tickets, paid an early visit, and had a fairly disillusioning evening.’
    • ‘I hate that job, and luckily the manager doesn't know how I disillusion customers so much, otherwise he'd definitely fire me.’
    • ‘This fairly brief experience of worldly ambition seems, however, to have disillusioned him.’
    • ‘Glenn refused because he was afraid he might disillusion the boys who took him for a model.’
    • ‘I would hate to disillusion our friends from that galaxy far, far away, but my impression is that none of those slogans mean anything more than they say, and that in any case, they do not say very much.’
    • ‘I know it seems mean to be disillusioning you like this, but do you really think that he or she will come up to you and tell you how much they care?’
    • ‘Perhaps the campaign disillusioned me: it certainly didn't bring out anyone's best side.’
    • ‘His stillborn book might soon disillusion Katherine Hunt and others like her.’
    • ‘Her union was the one that disillusioned me completely about marriage.’
    • ‘Other times, circumstances and people can seriously disillusion you.’
    • ‘And, after all, instead of disillusioning me it deeply attracted me.’
    • ‘The contrast between Stalinist Russia and the heady utopian promises of revolution in the early twenties was disillusioning, but not enough for him to abandon the cause of Communism.’
    • ‘Is that wait of an extra couple of months going to disillusion people about this new democracy?’
    • ‘The opposition of the traditionalists and the fear of disillusioning the faithful led to a third choice.’
    • ‘Better disillusion the poor idiot before he wraps himself up in grief and does something stupid.’
    • ‘I thought that I had removed it when I became disillusioned by the whole process.’
    • ‘But Hazel would disillusion him quick enough - since they seem to be such good friends.’
    • ‘However, the drop in points has not disillusioned the members of the committee.’
    disabuse, undeceive, enlighten, set straight, open someone's eyes
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