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

  • transitive v. To fill with sudden wonder or amazement. See Synonyms at surprise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. surprise, flabbergast

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To stun; to render senseless, as by a blow.
  • transitive v. To strike with sudden fear, terror, or wonder; to amaze; to surprise greatly, as with something unaccountable; to confound with some sudden emotion or passion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To stun, as with a blow; benumb; give a stupefying shock to.
  • To stun or strike dumb with sudden fear; confound.
  • To strike or impress with wonder, surprise, or admiration; surprise; amaze.
  • Synonyms Surprise, Amaze, etc. (see surprise); startle, shock.

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

  • v. affect with wonder


Alteration of Middle English astonen, from Old French estoner, from Vulgar Latin *extonāre : Latin ex-, ex- + Latin tonāre, to thunder; see (s)tenə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From an alteration (due to words ending in -ish: abolish, banish, cherish, establish, furnish, etc.) of earlier astony, astone, aston, astun ("to astonish, confound, stun"), from Middle English astonien, astunien, astonen, astunen, astounen ("to astound, stun, astonish"), from Old English *āstunian, from ā- (perfective prefix) + stunian ("to make a loud sound, crash, resound, roar, bang, dash, impinge, knock, confound, astonish, stupefy"), from Proto-Germanic *stunōnan (“to sound, crash, bang, groan”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ten-, *(s)ton- (“to thunder, roar, groan”), equivalent to a- +‎ stun. Compare German erstaunen ("to astonish, amaze"). Influenced by Old French estoner, estuner, estonner ("to stun"), either from an assumed Latin *extonare, or from Old Frankish *stunen (“to stun”), related to Middle High German stunen ("to knock, strike, stun") and thus also to the Old English word above. (Wiktionary)


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