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’
    • ‘When the talent is gone, the child is more likely to feel disillusion and emptiness than a normal child.’
    • ‘And as a result, in place of the kindled hopes and artificially aroused excitement comes disillusion and apathy.’
    • ‘The sight of people dimmed, and their voices choked with tears of disillusion, greed, envy and pride’
    • ‘In fact, we found it was all disillusion and discontent.’
    • ‘Can we do more than sing our sad and bitter songs of disillusion and defeat’
    • ‘My disillusion was growing and I was relieved when they laid me off with a generous severance.’
    • ‘But this light relief could not obliterate the all-pervading sense of crisis, disillusion and frustration in the country.’
    • ‘If the participation mode is adopted, the farmers will be kept away from the disappointment or disillusion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Barely conceivable though this is, the deepening political disillusion may come to be a force to be reckoned with.’
    • ‘Obviously measures have been taken to rectify the situation, but there is still an impression of disillusion, if not disenchantment.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is a proxy, not for globalisation, but for disillusion with the system.’
    • ‘‘The biggest problem in politics at the moment is disillusion, cynicism, apathy,’ he recognises.’
    • ‘Second, even if they do, because of the wall of cynicism and disillusion, they don't believe we will achieve them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He's a successful, distinguished photographer who has reached the ebb tide of disillusion in his life and career.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘But Hazel would disillusion him quick enough - since they seem to be such good friends.’
    • ‘Is that wait of an extra couple of months going to disillusion people about this new democracy?’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘We ordered our tickets, paid an early visit, and had a fairly disillusioning evening.’
    • ‘Other times, circumstances and people can seriously disillusion you.’
    • ‘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 hate that job, and luckily the manager doesn't know how I disillusion customers so much, otherwise he'd definitely fire me.’
    • ‘Better disillusion the poor idiot before he wraps himself up in grief and does something stupid.’
    • ‘However, the drop in points has not disillusioned the members of the committee.’
    • ‘I thought that I had removed it when I became disillusioned by the whole process.’
    • ‘Perhaps the campaign disillusioned me: it certainly didn't bring out anyone's best side.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His stillborn book might soon disillusion Katherine Hunt and others like her.’
    • ‘Her union was the one that disillusioned me completely about marriage.’
    • ‘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,’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And, after all, instead of disillusioning me it deeply attracted me.’
    • ‘The opposition of the traditionalists and the fear of disillusioning the faithful led to a third choice.’
    • ‘His experience of the First World War disillusioned him with conventional cultural and moral values.’
    disabuse, undeceive, enlighten, set straight, open someone's eyes
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