1. The state or condition of being disillusioned
- 1864 Reader 1 Oct. 417 Captain Burton..disillusioned many by stating that the plain on which it stands was by no means unlike some parts of central equatorial Africa.
- 1876 W. C. RUSSELL Is he the Man? III. 193 His voice disillusioned me in a second.
This term was coined by author and poet Gertrude Stein to characterize a general motif of disillusionment of American literary notables who lived in Paris and Europe after First World War, especially after military service in the war. Figures identified with the "Lost Generation" included authors and artists such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos, and John Steinbeck.
The term has latterly been used as a generic shorthand for groups of young people disproportionately affected by economic shocks, often involving lengthy periods of unemployment, such as those affected by the Global financial crisis of 2008–2009.. This is partly based on evidence that it can be difficult for those affected to get back into employment when economic activity picks up.
In the 1960s "dropping out" was used to mean withdrawing from established society, especially because of disillusion with conventional values. It is a term commonly associated with the 1960s counterculture. See Turn on, tune in, drop out. The academic, Robin Farquharson, wrote a book; entitled Drop Out!, about his own experiences dropping out of university life after he saw Timothy Leary's "Turn on..." statement on television.