Definition of astonish in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əˈstäniSH/


[with object]
Surprise or impress (someone) greatly: you never fail to astonish me [with object and clause]: it astonished her that Mrs. Browning could seem so anxious
More example sentences
  • The results were startling as astonished friends saw him ride a bicycle for the first time in two years.
  • It has never failed to astonish me how we pale-faced Scots continue to swallow the propaganda that down here in deepest England the weather is somehow better.
  • It came as no surprise to me, and probably will not astonish anyone else, that today I felt the after-effects of yesterday's long drive to and from Nottingham.
amaze, astound, stagger, surprise, startle, stun, confound, dumbfound, strike dumb, boggle, stupefy, daze, shock, take aback, leave open-mouthed, leave aghast
informal flabbergast, blow away, bowl over, floor
amazed, astounded, staggered, surprised, startled, stunned, thunderstruck, aghast, taken aback, dumbfounded, dumbstruck, stupefied, dazed, awestruck
informal flabbergasted, floored, blown away
amazing, astounding, staggering, surprising, breathtaking;
remarkable, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal
informal mind-boggling


Early 16th century (as astonished, in the sense 'stunned, bewildered, dismayed'): from obsolete astone 'stun, stupefy', from Old French estoner, based on Latin ex- 'out' + tonare 'to thunder'.

  • The Old French estoner, from Latin ex- ‘out’ and tonare ‘to thunder’ is the source of astonish, the shorter form stun (Middle English), and of astound (Middle English).

Words that rhyme with astonish

admonish, donnish

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: as·ton·ish

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words