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Word of the day: Désillusion

Word of the day: Désillusion
If you see this word on the front pages, you might want to check in on the French people in your life.

Why do I need to know désillusion?

Because it will help you to capture the mood during a national crisis.

What does it mean?

Désillusion is a noun meaning ‘disillusionment’, but it is most often used in the context of a significant disappointment or a shattered dream.

So when Les Bleus succumbed to a surprise defeat on penalties to Switzerland that saw them eliminated from Euro 2020, this word was all over the front pages in France.

“Quelle désillusion !” (What a disappointment!) was the headline from local paper L’Est Républicain, while Le Parisien simply went for, “La désillusion”.

Literally referring to a loss of illusions, the term feels more dramatic than the word ‘déception’, which also means ‘disappointment’, since it conveys a sense of shock.

It conjures an image of a group of people asking themselves how this was allowed to happen, although it can also be used for an individual when his or her dream has been shattered.

Use it like this

C’est une terrible désillusion pour le pays – It’s a terrible disappointment for the country

Les joueurs doivent rebondir après la désillusion face à la Suisse – The players must bounce back after the disappointment against Switzerland


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