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People before the two world wars hold an optimistic attitude towards the future as evident in their films and literature—then a major war broke out in 1914, and another in 1939.

I want to know, if there's a word (aside from 'disappointment') for that kind of sad feeling when the future you're dreaming didn't turn out well as expected.

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    How about disillusionment? Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 8:11
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    Have you checked a thesaurus for synonyms of “disappointment”?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 10:27
  • Please do check a dictionary. That'll be faster than waiting on us. Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 21:16

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Alternatives to "disappointed could include:

  • disillusioned
  • let-down
  • deflated
  • bereft

If you make it clear why a person feels a certain way, that really opens up the possibilities for word choice, because the word doesn't have to be exactly synonymous with disappointment. For example, if you said "the failure to realise my hopes and dreams left me feeling empty", it would be clear to the reader that the source of your feeling of 'emptiness' was disappointment.

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    'Regret' might be the best one.
    – fred2
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 19:01
  • @fred2 "Regret" is sometimes linked to disappointment but it is mainly used when there is an identifiable cause of the failure to realise something. For example, if you failed to act then you might regret your lack of action. I wouldn't use it if the hopes were expected to self-realise.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 12:31

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