• (British) IPA: /dɪsəˈpɔɪnt/

disappoint (disappoints, present participle disappointing; past and past participle disappointed)

  1. (transitive) To sadden or displease (someone) by underperforming, or by not delivering something promised or hoped for.
    His lack of respect disappointed her.
    I was disappointed by last year’s revenue.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, London: T. Egerton, Volume 2, Chapter 1, p. 12,
      Here are officers enough at Meryton to disappoint all the young ladies in the country.
    • 2007, Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I'm Dying, New York: Knopf, Part 2, “Transition,”
      My father liked his rice light and fluffy, but separate. […] Since he’d gone so long without a taste, the possibility of disappointing him weighed heavily on my mother.
  2. (transitive) To deprive (someone of something expected or hoped for).
    • 1574, Arthur Golding (translator), Sermons of Master Jean Calvin, upon the Book of Job, London: Lucas Harison and George Byshop, Sermon 32, p. 163,
      They that haue money in their purse, are afrayde and in doubte, yea and are continuallye martyred with feare, leaste GOD should disappoint them of their pray, and abate their portion.
    • 1637, Thomas Killigrew, The Parson’s Wedding, Act V, Scene 4, in Comedies and Tragedies, London: Henry Herringman, 1664, p. 152,
      Bless me from an old waiting-womans wrath; she’l never forgive me the disappointing her of a promise when I was drunk;
    • 1707, extract from John Caryll (senior)’s letters, in James Macpherson (ed.), Original Papers: containing the secret history of Great Britain, from the restoration, to the accession of the House of Hannover, London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1775, Volume 2, p. 86,
      You tell me, that the hasty departure of Mr. Rysehoven [Marlborough] out of town disappointed you of speaking to him, of which the loss, I think, is not very great;
    • 1758, Charlotte Lennox, Henrietta, London: A. Millar, Volume 1, Book 2, Chapter 8, p. 178,
      Miss Courteney […] sat down again, tho’ with some reluctance, telling his lordship that she would not be the means of disappointing him of his coffee; but that she must insist upon being permitted to withdraw in half an hour, having business of consequence upon her hands.
    • 1885, W. S. Gilbert, The Mikado, London: Chappell, Act II, p. 32,
      […] you shan’t be disappointed of a wedding—you shall come to mine.
    • 2000, Alan Bennett, “The Laying On of Hands” in The Laying On of Hands: Stories, New York: Picador, 2002, p. 94,
      Disappointed of immediate promotion he was now more … well, relaxed […]
  3. (transitive, dated) To fail to meet (an expectation); to fail to fulfil (a hope).
    • 1751, Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, No. 127, 4 June, 1751, Volume 4, London: J. Payne and J. Bouquet, 1752, pp. 240-241,
      It is not uncommon for those who at their first entrance into the world were distinguished for eminent attainments or superior abilities, to disappoint the hopes which they had raised, and to end in neglect and obscurity that life which they began in celebrity and honour.
    • 1769, Tobias Smollett, The History and Adventures of an Atom, London: Robinson and Roberts, Volume 2, pp. 165-166,
      […] his life was despaired of; and all Japan was filled with alarm and apprehension at the prospect of an infant’s ascending the throne: […] Their fears, however, were happily disappointed by the recovery of the emperor,
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, London: Smith, Elder, Volume 3, Chapter 5, p. 122,
      “But perhaps your accommodations—your cottage—your furniture—have disappointed your expectations?”
    • 1871, Louisa May Alcott, Little Men, Boston: Roberts Brothers, Chapter 6, p. 90,
      The boy’s confidence in her hospitality touched Mrs. Bhaer, and she could not find the heart to disappoint his hope, and spoil his kind little plan […]
    • 1923, John Maynard Keynes, “Social Consequences of Changes in the Value of Money” in Essays in Persuasion, London: Macmillan, 1933, pp. 80-81,
      […] a change in prices and rewards, as measured in money, generally affects different classes unequally […] and redistributes Fortune’s favours so as to frustrate design and disappoint expectation.
  4. (transitive, dated) To show (an opinion, belief, etc.) to be mistaken.
    • 1814, Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, London: T. Egerton, Volume 3, Chapter 1, p. 6,
      I am sure you will not disappoint my opinion of you, by failing at any time to treat your aunt Norris with the respect and attention that are due to her.
    • 1909, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea, Boston: L. C. Page, Chapter 14, p. 150,
      “Well, I thought it was too good to be true,” he said at last, with a sigh of disappointed conviction.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To prevent (something planned or attempted).
    Synonyms: frustrate, thwart
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Book of Job 5.12,
      He [God] disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.
    • 1716, Alexander Pope (translator), The Iliad: of Homer, London: Bernard Lintott, Volume 2, Book 7, p. 201,
      The wary Trojan shrinks, and bending low
      Beneath his Buckler, disappoints the Blow.
    • 1817, Walter Scott, Rob Roy (novel), London: Ward, Lock, Introduction, p. xxii,
      But heavy rains, the difficulties of the country, and the good intelligence which the outlaw was always supplied with, disappointed their well-concerted combination.
Antonyms Translations Adjective


  1. (Internet slang) disappointed

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