Share this entry

Share this page

numb

Syllabification: numb
Pronunciation: /nəm
 
/

Definition of numb in English:

adjective

1Deprived of the power of 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.
Synonyms
without sensation, without feeling, numbed, benumbed, desensitized, insensible, senseless, unfeeling;
anesthetized;
dazed, stunned, stupefied, paralyzed, immobilized, frozen
1.1Unable to think, feel, or respond normally: the tragic events left us shocked and numb
More example sentences
  • It's surprising that one event follows another in such a way that we are left totally numb.
  • I had been in a meeting with an artist and was left totally numb.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
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?
Synonyms
desensitizing, deadening, benumbing, anesthetic, anesthetizing;
paralyzing
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.
Synonyms
deaden, benumb, desensitize, dull;
anesthetize;
daze, stupefy, paralyze, immobilize, freeze

Origin

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

Derivatives

numbly

1
adverb
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.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?