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astonish Line breaks: as¦ton|ish
Pronunciation: /əˈstɒnɪʃ/

Definition of astonish in English:


[with object]
Surprise or impress (someone) greatly: you never fail to astonish me [with object and clause]: it astonished her that he was 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.
throw, shake, unnerve, disconcert, discompose, bewilder;
take someone's breath away, take by surprise, take aback, shake up, stop someone in their tracks, strike dumb, leave open-mouthed, leave aghast, catch off balance
informal flabbergast, floor, knock for six, knock sideways, knock out, knock the stuffing out of, bowl over, blow someone's mind, blow away
amazed, filled with astonishment, filled with amazement, astounded, staggered, surprised, startled, stunned, thunderstruck, aghast, taken aback, confounded, dumbfounded, stupefied, dazed, nonplussed, dumbstruck, open-mouthed, agape, lost for words, wide-eyed, awed, filled with awe, filled with wonder, awestruck, wonderstruck;
informal flabbergasted, flummoxed, floored, knocked for six, bowled over, blown away, unable to believe one's eyes/ears
British informal gobsmacked
amazing, astounding, staggering, shocking, surprising, breathtaking, striking, impressive, bewildering, stunning, stupefying;
informal mind-boggling, mind-blowing, hard to swallow, amazeballs


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
Definition of astonish in:
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