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1. The state of being dejected; low spirits.
2. Evacuation of the intestinal tract; defecation.


1. (Psychology) lowness of spirits; depression; melancholy
2. (Zoology)
a. faecal matter evacuated from the bowels; excrement
b. the act of defecating; defecation


(dɪˈdʒɛk ʃən)

lowness of spirits; depression.
[1400–50; late Middle English < Latin]




  1. (There was about him) an air of defeat … as though all the rules he’d learned in life were, one by one, being reversed —Margaret Millar
  2. Dampened my mood (as automatically) as would the news of an earthquake in Cincinnati or the outbreak of the Third World War —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  3. Dejection seemed to transfix him, to reach down out of the sky and crash like a spike through his small rigid body —Niven Busch
  4. Dejection settled over her like a cloud —Louis Bromfield
  5. Depression crept like a fog into her mind —Ellen Glasgow
  6. Depression … is like a light turned into a room —only a light of blackness —Rudyard Kipling
  7. Depressions … like thick cloud covers: not a ray of light gets through —Larry McMurtry
  8. Despair howled round his inside like a wind —Elizabeth Bowen
  9. Despair is like forward children, who, when you take away one of their playthings, throw the rest into the fire for madness —Pierre Charron
  10. Despair, like that of a man carrying through choice a bomb which, at a certain hour each day, may or may not explode —William Faulkner
  11. Despair passed over him like cold winds and hot winds coming from places he had never visited —Margaret Millar
  12. Despondency … lurking like a ghoul —Richard Maynard
  13. Emptied, like a collapsed balloon, all the life gone out of him —Ben Ames Williams
  14. Feeling of desperation … as if caught by a chain that was slowly winding up —Victor Hugo
  15. Feel like a picnicker who has forgotten his lunch —Frank O’Hara
  16. (I’m not feeling very good right now. I) feel like I’ve been sucking on a lot of raw eggs —Dexter Manley, of the Washington Redskins after his team lost important game, quoted in the New York Times, December 8, 1986
  17. Feels his heart sink as if into a frozen lake —John Rechy
  18. Felt depression settle on his head like a sick crow —Bernard Malamud
  19. (He often) felt [suicidal] like a deep sea diver whose hose got cut on an unexpected rock —Diane Wakoski
  20. Felt like Willie Loman at the end of the road —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  21. Felt the future narrowing before me like a tunnel —Margaret Drabble
  22. Forlorn … like Autumn waiting for the snow —John Greenleaf Whittier
  23. (Her) heart dropped like a purse of coins falling through a ripped pocket —Joyce Reiser Kornblatt
  24. His despair confronted me like a black beast —Natascha Wodin
  25. His haughty self was like a robber baron fallen into the hands of rebellious slaves, stooped under a filthy load —Sinclair Lewis
  26. His heart has withered in him and he has been left with the five senses, like pieces of broken wineglass —Lawrence Durrell
  27. Hope and confidence … shattered like the pillars of Gaza —W. Somerset Maugham
  28. Hope removed like a tree —The Holy Bible/Job
  29. It was like having a part of me amputated —W. P. Kinsella

    In the novel, Shoeless Joe, the comparison is a character’s response to being suspended from his baseball team.

  30. (I was) like the old lion with a thorn in his paw, surrounded by wolves and jackals and facing his snaggle-toothed death in a political jungle —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  31. Listless and wretched like a condemned man —Erich Maria Remarque
  32. Live under dust covers like furniture —Michael Frayn

    Frayn’s simile vividly portrays the despair of the characters in his adaptation of an untitled Checkhov play, first produced under the title Wild Honey in 1984.

  33. Looked suddenly disconsolate, like a scarecrow with no crows to scare —Graham Masterton
  34. Looking forlorn, stricken, like a little brother who, tagging along, is being deserted by the big fellows —Edna Ferber
  35. Crawl back [after unanticipated defeat at golf] looking like a toad under a harrow —P. G. Wodehouse
  36. Look like a dog that has lost its tail —John Ray’s Proverbs
  37. Look like the picture of ill luck —John Ray’s Proverbs
  38. Miserable, like dead men in a dream —George MacDonald
  39. Miserable, lonesome as a forgotten child —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  40. Misery is manifold … as the rainbow; its hues are as various as the hues of that arch —Edgar Allen Poe
  41. Misery rose from him like a stench —Marge Piercy
  42. A mood as gypsy-dark as his eyes —Robert Culff
  43. My life is just an empty road and people walk on me —Tony Ardizzone
  44. Must live hideously and miserably the rest of his days, like a man doomed to live forever in a state of retching and abominable nausea of heart, brain, bowels, flesh and spirit —Thomas Wolfe
  45. Put away his hopes as if they were old love letters —Anon

    See Also: HOPE

  46. Relapsed into discouragement, like a votary who has watched too long for a sign from the altar —Edith Wharton
  47. Saw himself like a sparrow on the bank-top; sitting on the wherewithal for a thousand thousand meals and dropping dead from hunger the first day of winter —Christina Stead
  48. Seemed like a whipped dog on a leash —Ignazio Silone
  49. The sense of desolation and of fear became bitterer than death —William Cullen Bryant

    See Also: FEAR

  50. (I have been) so utterly and suicidally morbid that my letters would have read like an excerpt from the Undertakers’ Gazette —Dylan Thomas

    The simile is excerpted from a November, 1933, letter to Pamela Hansford Johnson apologizing for the delay in replying to her letter.

  51. (Foster’s) stomach felt like a load of wet clothes at the bottom of the dryer —Phyllis Naylor
  52. There’s a state of peace following despair … like the aftermath of an accident —C. J. Koch
  53. Waves of black depression engulf one from time to time … like a rising tide —Gustave Flaubert



(See also GRIEVING.)

crestfallen Dispirited; lacking in confidence, spirit, or courage; humbled; in a blue funk. In use since the 16th century, this term is said to allude to the crests of fighting cocks which reputedly become rigid and deep-red in color during the height of battle but flaccid and droopy following defeat. This theory regarding the term’s origin is unlikely, however, since the crests of fighting cocks are cut off.

down in the mouth Sad, dejected, disappointed, in low spirits, down in the dumps. This expression, dating from the mid-17th century, derives from the fact that the corners of a person’s mouth are drawn down when he is sad or despondent.

The Roman Orator was down in the mouth; finding himself thus cheated by the money-changer. (Bp. Joseph Hall, Resolutions and Decisions of Diverse Practical Cases of Conscience, 1649)

eat one’s heart out See eat one’s heart, SELF-PITY.

in the doldrums See STAGNATION.

in the dumps In a dull and gloomy state of mind; sad, depressed, joyless, long-faced. No one knows the exact origin of dump, in use since the 16th century. One suggestion is that it derives from the Dutch domp ‘exhalation, haze, mist,’ and that this meaning gave rise to its association with mental haziness. An even less convincing theory is that dumps is an allusion to King Dumops of Egypt, who, after building a pyramid, died of melancholia. Thus, one who suffers from melancholia, like King Dumops, is said to be “in the dumps.” This expression, still current, and in doleful dumps were in use in the 17th century. Down in the dumps is another popular variant.

no joy in Mudville Pervasive sadness or disappointment, especially that accompanying the unexpected defeat of a local sports team. This expression, generally limited to use by sports reporters, is derived from “Casey at the Bat,” a poem which tells of the untimely failure of the hometown baseball hero to save the day:

Oh! somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.
(Ernest Thayer, “Casey at the Bat,” 1888)

off one’s feed See ILL HEALTH.

a peg too low Moody, listless, melancholy. The drinking bouts of medieval England occasionally turned to brawls when one of several men drinking from the same tankard accused another of taking more than his share. This problem was remedied by the legendary St. Dunstan, who suggested that pegs be placed at equal intervals inside the cup to indicate each man’s portion. Apparently, the expression evolved its figurative meaning in allusion to the dismay of one whose remaining portion was de-pressingly small. The phrase usually implies a desire for another go at “the cup that cheers.”

the pits An extraordinarily poor state of mind; the depths of despond; the nadir; the worst of anything. This expression, alluding to an extremely deep shaft or abyss, enjoys widespread slang use in the United States. Columnist Erma Bombeck recently punned on the expression in entitling a collection, If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing In the Pits? (1978).

slough of despond A feeling of intense discouragement, despair, depression, or hopelessness. In John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), the Slough of Despond was a deep, treacherous bog which had to be crossed in order to reach the Wicket Gate. When Christian, the pilgrim, fell into the Slough, he might have been totally consumed had not his friend Help come to his assistance. Eventually, slough of despond became more figurative, describing the seemingly helpless and hopeless predicament of being enmired in despair.

I remember slumping all [of] a sudden into the slough of despond, and closing my letter in the dumps. (Thomas Twining, Recreations and Studies of a Country Clergyman of the 18th Century, 1776)

touch bottom To reach one’s lowest point; to sink to the depths of despair; to know the worst; to feel that everything has gone wrong and nothing worse can happen. In print at least as early as the mid-19th century, this expression probably derives its figurative use from the nautical use referring to a ship which scrapes its bottom and is temporarily or permanently disabled.

waterworks Tears, crying, the shedding of tears; often to turn on the waterworks; also to turn on the faucet.

Harry could not bear to see Clare cry. “Hold up!” he cried. “This will never do. Hullo! no waterworks here, if you please.” (F. Leslie’s Chatterbox [New York], 1885-86)

By implying that the flow of tears can be turned on and off virtually at will, these phrases place doubt on the sincerity of the tears being shed. This facetious use of the term dates from the 17th century.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dejection - a state of melancholy depressiondejection - a state of melancholy depression  
depression - a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity
2.dejection - solid excretory product evacuated from the bowelsdejection - solid excretory product evacuated from the bowels
dog do, dog turd, doggy do - fecal droppings from a dog
body waste, excrement, excreta, excretory product, excretion - waste matter (as urine or sweat but especially feces) discharged from the body
crap, turd, dirt - obscene terms for feces
droppings, dung, muck - fecal matter of animals
meconium - thick dark green mucoid material that is the first feces of a newborn child
melaena, melena - abnormally dark tarry feces containing blood (usually from gastrointestinal bleeding)


noun low spirits, depression, gloom, blues, dumps (informal), despair, sadness, sorrow, melancholy, unhappiness, doldrums, despondency, the hump (Brit. informal), gloominess, heavy-heartedness, downheartedness There was a slight air of dejection about her.




[dɪˈdʒekʃən] N (= emotion) → desánimo m, abatimiento m


[dɪˈdʒɛkʃən] nabattement m, découragement m



[dɪˈdʒɛkʃn] nabbattimento, avvilimento


(diˈdʒektid) adjective
gloomy or miserable. He looked rather dejected.
deˈjectedly adverb
deˈjection (-ʃən) noun


n. deyección.
1. estado de abatimiento, depresión;
2. expulsión de excremento.
References in classic literature ?
A PUBLIC-SPIRITED Citizen who had failed miserably in trying to secure a National political convention for his city suffered acutely from dejection. While in that frame of mind he leaned thoughtlessly against a druggist's show-window, wherein were one hundred and fifty kinds of assorted snakes.
In the circus of to-day the melancholy ghost of the court fool effects the dejection of humbler audiences with the same jests wherewith in life he gloomed the marble hall, panged the patrician sense of humor and tapped the tank of royal tears.
Her mother has insinuated that her temper is intractable, but I never saw a face less indicative of any evil disposition than hers; and from what I can see of the behaviour of each to the other, the invariable severity of Lady Susan and the silent dejection of Frederica, I am led to believe as heretofore that the former has no real love for her daughter, and has never done her justice or treated her affectionately.
Always of a sedate, taciturn disposition, he now fell into so deep a dejection that nothing could hold his attention, yet anything--a footfall, the sudden closing of a door--aroused in him a fitful interest; one might have called it an apprehension.
Their first object was her sister; and she was more grieved than astonished to hear, in reply to her minute inquiries, that though Jane always struggled to support her spirits, there were periods of dejection. It was reasonable, however, to hope that they would not continue long.
With painful dejection he awaited the end of this action, in which he regarded himself as a participant and which he was unable to arrest.
Bitterly disappointed, humiliated, inexpressibly hurt and altogether unnerved, the soldier dropped upon a rustic seat in deep dejection, supporting his head upon his trembling hand.
It was Levin's face, with his scowling brows, and his kind eyes looking out in dark dejection below them, as he stood listening to her father, and glancing at her and at Vronsky.
But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy, and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil, I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling.
Georgiana said she dreaded being left alone with Eliza; from her she got neither sympathy in her dejection, support in her fears, nor aid in her preparations; so I bore with her feeble-minded wailings and selfish lamentations as well as I could, and did my best in sewing for her and packing her dresses.
The deep distress that so evidently affected Marmaduke was in some measure communicated to Elizabeth also; for a look of dejection shaded her intelligent features, and the buoyancy of her animated spirits was sensibly softened.
It would not be likely to produce that dejection of mind which frequently attended him.