Definition of nonplussed in English:
- The Chief continues to act confused, nonplussed and bewildered but after giving the matter some serious thought, he suddenly remembers the details of a conversation he once had with the Apache.
- I was somewhat nonplussed and ended up saying ‘I'm rather surprised they even felt the need to ask.’
- When, the night of his gig, the emcee announced ‘Here's Rodney Dangerfield,’ a somewhat nonplussed audience looked at him with confusion.
- Felix is nonplussed by the pills, but others are less thrilled about the daily regime.
- But he remained nonplussed in the face of his wife's cynicism.
- ‘No, thank you,’ I replied, to all appearances nonplussed but inwardly raging.
In standard use nonplussed means ‘surprised and confused’, as in she was nonplussed at his eagerness to help out. In North American English a new use has developed in recent years, meaning ‘unperturbed’—more or less the opposite of its traditional meaning—as in he was clearly trying to appear nonplussed. This new use probably arose on the assumption that non- was the normal negative prefix and must therefore have a negative meaning. It is not considered part of standard English.
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