- 1So surprised and confused that one is unsure how to react: Henry looked completely nonplussedMore example sentences
- 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.
- 2North American • informal Not disconcerted; unperturbed.More example sentences
- 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.