from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To make less intense; dull or deaden.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To reduce the edge or effects of; to mitigate; to dull.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To reduce the edge, pungency, or violent action of; to dull; to blunt; to deaden; to quell.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To dull; blunt; quell; deaden; reduce the pungency or violent action of anything.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. reduce the edge or violence of
Here Claudia formed the habit of drinking much more wine than was good for her: and she did it to blunt her sensibility; to obtund the sharpness of her heartache; to give her sleep.
While we live upon the level with the rest of mankind, we are reminded of our duty by the admonitions of friends and reproaches of enemies; but men who stand in the highest ranks of society, seldom hear of their faults; if by any accident an opprobrious clamour reaches their ears, flattery is always at hand to pour in her opiates, to quiet conviction, and obtund remorse.
The manner in which external force acts upon the body is very little subject to the regulation of the will; no man can at pleasure obtund or invigorate his senses, prolong the agency of any impulse, or continue the presence of any image traced upon the eye, or any sound infused into the ear.
Also, Codeine can obtund you and it also supresses the cough reflex.
Likewise a writer or speaker generally should not say obtund when the verbs dull and blunt come more readily to mind.
(and it is granted they are to be preferred above all other earthly things); but where they fill and possess the heart, where they weaken and obtund the affections unto things spiritual, heavenly, and eternal, unless we are mortified unto them, the heart will never be in a good frame, nor is capable of that degree in the grace of repentance which we seek.
Turning to Webster’s the reporter discovered that to “obtund” means to “dull,” “blunt,” or “quell.”