from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of benumb.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • That of body is nothing but a kind of benumbing laziness, intermitting exercise, which, if we may believe [1547] Fernelius, causeth crudities, obstructions, excremental humours, quencheth the natural heat, dulls the spirits, and makes them unapt to do any thing whatsoever.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • When she returned perhaps their lives would readjust themselves -- but for the moment he longed for some kind of benumbing influence, something that should give relief to the dull daily ache of feeling her so near and yet so inaccessible.

    The Custom of the Country

  • In a benumbing turn of events, Abe Foxman, chief of the influential Anti-Defamation League and opponent of Park51 -- the so-called Ground Zero Mosque -- gave a speech this week decrying the rising culture of anti-Islam bigotry.

    Adam Chandler: Prominent Park51 Opponent: Stop Anti-Muslim Bigotry

  • Adult novella, a hugely distended tale within the network of tales that makes up the book, 90 pages long, as benumbing for an adult to read as almost any story written for the Young Adult market, whose products are about as close to genuine fiction as megachurches are to monasteries where silence is observed.


  • Thou, my Alan, wilt treat as timidity this passive acquiescence, which has sunk down on me like a benumbing torpor; but if thou hast remembered by what visions my couch was haunted, and dost but think of the probability that I am in the vicinity, perhaps under the same roof with


  • The iron handle completed the benumbing and freezing of her wet and tiny hands; she was forced to halt from time to time, and each time that she did so, the cold water which splashed from the pail fell on her bare legs.

    Les Miserables

  • This toxic admixture of computer-generated frenzy and live-action torpor succeeds in being, almost simultaneously, genuinely painful -- the esthetic equivalent of needles in eyeballs -- and weirdly benumbing, like eye candy laced with lidocaine.

    'Speed Racer'

  • A prototypical summer release dropped into early November, this furiously raunchy, occasionally bright and eventually benumbing comedy stars Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott as buddies forced to become mentors in a crackpot version of a Big Brother program run by a not-so-former crack addict.

    Buddy Comedy 'Role Models' Rolls Off Rails

  • Then, they said together, ‘Lord be merciful to us both!’ and tried to encourage one another, as they drifted in the cold benumbing sea on that unfortunate November night.

    A Child's History of England

  • But a short time had elapsed since more than one of the great anatomists and physicists of the Italian school had paid dearly for their endeavours to dissipate some of the prevalent errors; and their illustrious pupil, Harvey, the founder of modern physiology, had not fared so well, in a country less oppressed by the benumbing influences of theology, as to tempt any man to follow his example.



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