Disappointment is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations to manifest. Similar to regret, it differs in that the individual feeling regret focuses primarily on the personal choices that contributed to a poor outcome, while the individual feeling disappointment focuses on the outcome itself.
- The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men,
Gang aft a-gley,
And leave us nought but grief and pain,
For promised joy.
- Like to the apples on the Dead Sea's shore,
All ashes to the taste.
- As distant prospects please us, but when near
We find but desert rocks and fleeting air.
- Samuel Garth, The Dispensary (1699), Canto III, line 27.
- To my imagination she is a gracious princess—to my reason, a scullery maid. The artist lets both roles play concurrently. The Philistine is disappointed and retracts the first.
- Karl Kraus, Dicta and Contradicta, J. McVity, trans. (2001), #503
- The Cause of Sorrow is always desire. If a man has no desires, if he is not striving for place or power or wealth, then he is equally tranquil whether the wealth or position comes or whether it goes. He remains unruffled and serene.... Being human, he will of course wish for this or that, but always mildly and gently, so that he does not allow himself to be disturbed... How often, for example, a young man desires affection from someone who cannot give it to him, who has it not to give! From such a desire as that comes often a great deal of sadness, jealousy and much other ill-feeling. You will say that such a desire is natural; undoubtedly it is, and affection which is returned is a great source of happiness. Yet if it cannot be returned, a man should have the strength to accept the situation, and not allow sorrow to be caused by the unsatisfied desire.
- But O! as to embrace me she inclin'd,
I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.
- John Milton, On His Deceased Wife (c. 1658).
- There can be no entire disappointment to a wise man, because he maketh it a cause of succeeding another time. A fool is so unreasonably raised by his hopes, that he is half-dead by a disappointment: his mistaken fancy draweth him so high, that when he falleth, he is sure to break his bones.
- George Savile, Marquess of Halifax, “Moral Thoughts and Reflections,” Complete Works (Oxford: 1912), p. 237.
- All is but toys; renown and grace is dead;
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
- We may avoid much disappointment and bitterness of soul by learning to understand how little necessary to our joy and peace are the things the multitude most desire and seek.
- John Lancaster Spalding, Aphorisms and Reflections (1901), pp. 129-130
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 195.
- But evil fortune has decreed,
(The foe of mice as well as men)
The royal mouse at last should bleed,
Should fall—ne'er to arise again.
- Michael Bruce, Musiad.
- Lightly I sped when hope was high
And youth beguiled the chase,—
I follow, follow still: But I
Shall never see her face.
- Frederick Locker-Lampson, The Unrealized Ideal.
- Sed ut acerbum est, pro benefactis quom malis messem metas!
- It is a bitter disappointment when you have sown benefits, to reap injuries.
- Plautus, Epidicus, V, 2, 52.