from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To make numb, especially by cold.
  • transitive verb To render senseless or inactive, as from shock or boredom.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Benumbed.
  • To make torpid; deprive of sensation: as, a hand or foot benumbed by cold.
  • To stupefy; render inactive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To make torpid; to deprive of sensation or sensibility; to stupefy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To make numb, as by cold or anesthetic.
  • verb transitive To deaden.

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

  • verb make numb or insensitive


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

[Middle English binomen, from past participle of binimen, to take away, from Old English beniman : be-, away; see be– + niman, to take; see numb.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

be- +‎ numb


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  • By my dictionary definition, to stupefy means to "overwhelm with amazement, astound, astonish"; "to stun, as with strong emotions, to benumb the faculties of as in 'put in to a stupor'."

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  • When I felt that cursed wheel pass across my breast, when I felt the pistol-ball benumb my arm, I felt no more agitation than at the bounce of a champagne-cork.

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  • Wonderful power to benumb possesses this brother. —

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  • This swift comparison between his present condition and the aims he had in view helped to benumb his faculties.

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  • These have a narcotic ( "to benumb" G), or analgesic ( "no pain" G), effect and are not scorned even in modern medical practice.

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  • But there were so many chances against them in all these cases, such as storms, to overset and founder them; rains and cold, to benumb and perish their limbs; contrary winds, to keep them out and starve them; that it must have been next to miraculous if they had escaped.

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  • A wave of cold fear seemed to benumb his tongue and brain.

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  • She drank with her heart and eyes the poison these passionate words contained; she allowed herself to be swayed at will by these melodies which lulled but did not benumb.

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  • They had power to benumb every decent feeling in me.

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  • Often the man will be free, while the woman and the dog side by side drag the cart to which they are tied, the woman usually knitting even when the air is cold enough to benumb her fingers.

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