Definition of numb in English:

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Pronunciation: /nʌm/


1(Of a part of the body) deprived of the power of physical sensation: my feet were numb with cold
More example sentences
  • I awoke to find this numb sensation in my left arm, and a horrible headache.
  • You're standing beside a beer cooler on the bank of a frozen Siberian river, and your nose is numb with cold.
  • He reached to grab the rifle but could not because his forearm felt numb and dead.
deprived of sensation, without feeling, numbed, benumbed, dead, deadened, desensitized, insensible, insensate, senseless, unfeeling;
anaesthetized, drugged;
dazed, stunned, stupefied, in shock, paralysed, petrified, immobilized, frozen, chilled
rare torpefied
1.1Unable to think, feel, or respond normally: the tragic events left us shocked and numb
More example sentences
  • I had been in a meeting with an artist and was left totally numb.
  • It's surprising that one event follows another in such a way that we are left totally numb.


[with object]
1Deprive of feeling or responsiveness: the cold had numbed her senses
More example sentences
  • This is drunk warm out of small earthenware cups or chilled depending on the season, and in my experience the hot stuff numbs your senses like hemlock.
  • And so she bravely walked down 2nd Avenue, fighting the elements, the cold wind numbing her soft little fingers.
  • Are their senses numbed by visual culture, we wonder, or are they simply getting the programmes they deserve?
deadening, desensitizing, benumbing, anaesthetizing, anaesthetic;
rare torpefying
freezing, glacial, raw, piercing, cutting, bitter, arctic, polar
1.1Cause (a sensation) to be felt less intensely; deaden: vodka might numb the pain in my hand
More example sentences
  • The effect of the brew was to stupefy the convict to the point of pseudo-coma and to numb his physical sensations.
  • I'm sure circumcised men are probably far better lovers due to the fact that their sensations are numbed.
  • Insiders worry that the troubled star may turn his back on his recovery and hit the drugs to numb his pain over the end of the two-month relationship.
deaden, deprive of sensation, benumb, desensitize, render insensitive, dull;
anaesthetize, drug;
daze, stun, stupefy, paralyse, petrify, immobilize, freeze, chill
rare torpefy, obtund



Pronunciation: /ˈnʌmli/
Example sentences
  • He would not, as he walked out of his Chiswick house into the sunshine, have considered that by lunchtime he would be staring numbly at her dead body.
  • Dressing for the trip home, I stared numbly at the clothes hanging in my closet.
  • The original film ended with Katharine Ross numbly pushing her shopping cart down the grocery aisle.


Late Middle English nome(n), past participle of obsolete nim 'take'.

  • Old English used to have a verb nim meaning ‘take’. It was one of those verb, like sing, that show the past form by changing the vowel. In this case the past was nome ‘taken’. This then evolved into numb for sensation that had been taken away.

Words that rhyme with numb

become, benumb, Brum, bum, chum, crumb, drum, glum, gum, ho-hum, hum, Kara Kum, lum, mum, plum, plumb, Rhum, rhumb, rum, scrum, scum, slum, some, strum, stum, succumb, sum, swum, thrum, thumb, tum, yum-yum

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: numb

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