Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
  • transitive v. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.
  • intransitive v. To cause great wonder or astonishment: a sight that amazes.
  • n. Amazement; wonder.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To be astounded.
  • transitive v. To bewilder; to stupefy; to bring into a maze.
  • transitive v. To confound, as by fear, wonder, extreme surprise; to overwhelm with wonder; to astound; to astonish greatly.
  • transitive v. Bewilderment, arising from fear, surprise, or wonder; amazement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To confound with fear, sudden surprise, or wonder; confuse; perplex.
  • To strike with astonishment, surprise, or wonder; astonish; surprise: as, you amaze me; I was amazed to find him there.
  • Synonyms Surprise, Astonish, etc. (see surprise); to confound, stagger, stupefy, dumfound.
  • To wonder; he amazed.
  • n. Astonishment; confusion; perplexity arising from fear, surprise, or wonder; amazement: used chiefly in poetry.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be a mystery or bewildering to
  • v. affect with wonder

Etymologies

From Middle English masen, to bewilder, and from amased, bewildered (from Old English āmasod), both from Old English āmasian, to bewilder : ā-, intensive pref. + *masian, to confuse.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English amasen ("to bewilder, perplex"), from Old English āmasian ("to confuse, astonish"), from ā- (perfective prefix) + *masian ("to confound") from *mæs ("delusion, bewilderment"), from Proto-Germanic *mas-, *masōnan (“to confound, be weary, dream”), from Proto-Indo-European *mā- (“to stupefy”). Akin to Old Norse masa ("to struggle, be confused"), Ancient Greek μάτη (mátē, "folly"), μέμαα (mémaa, "I was eager"). More at automatic. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I. ii.115 (240,4) [You amaze me, ladies] To _amaze_, here, is not to astonish or strike with wonder, but to perplex; to confuse; as, to put out of the intended narrative.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • But, as I said, I was in amaze, and the next I knew was the pang of the entering steel as this clumsy provincial ran me through and charged forward, bull-like, till his hilt bruised my side and I was borne backward.

    Chapter 11

  • And the fluttering, chirping gentlemen are rubbing their hands in amaze and wondering why they did not do it long ago, it was so very, very simple.

    These Bones shall Rise Again - Essay by Jack London

  • From time to time I forsook my own thoughts to follow him, and I followed in amaze, mastered for the moment by his remarkable intellect, under the spell of his passion, for he was preaching the passion of revolt.

    Chapter 26

  • What continues to amaze is the ignorance about addiction.

    Why do American elementary schools equate wine and pot? | Dr Vino's wine blog

  • He stared at it in amaze, his brain a racing wild-fire of hypotheses to account for this far-journeyer who had adventured the night of space, threaded the stars, and now rose before him and above him, exhumed by patient anthropophagi, pitted and lacquered by its fiery bath in two atmospheres.

    The Red One

  • But as I said, I was in amaze, and the next I knew was the pang of the entering steel as this clumsy provincial ran me through and charged forward, bull - like, till his hilt bruised my side and I was borne backward.

    Chapter 11

  • He set her on her feet and stared at her in amaze; she met his enraptured gaze with eyes that shone like twin blue stars.

    The Fairies and the Christmas Child

  • "A pig!" said Mr. Olmney, in amaze – Mrs. Evelyn again giving out in distress.

    Queechy

  • Mrs. Rossitur looked up in amaze, and waited for the question to be repeated.

    Queechy

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