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90s Slang You Should Know


[bih-nuhm] /bɪˈnʌm/
verb (used with object)
to make numb; deprive of sensation:
benumbed by cold.
to render inactive; deaden or stupefy.
Origin of benumb
1350-1400; back formation from Middle English benomen, past participle of benimen to take away, Old English beniman; cognate with Dutch benemen, German benehmen, Gothic biniman. See be-, nimble, numb
Related forms
[bih-nuhmd-nis, -nuhm-id-] /bɪˈnʌmd nɪs, -ˈnʌm ɪd-/ (Show IPA),
benumbingly, adverb
benumbment, noun
unbenumbed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for benumbed
Historical Examples
  • Slowly withdrawing that benumbed arm, Pierre noiselessly arises from the cot.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • The icy water so benumbed us we could scarcely control our limbs.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • For my own part I was possessed rather by a benumbed indifference than by any sense of genuine resignation.

  • I was too benumbed by that cruel stroke to reply, but Price said enough for both of us.

  • It was benumbed with cold, and he wrapped it in his blanket, and laid it in the bottom of the boat.

    Field and Forest Oliver Optic
  • Any one can see by his benumbed expression that he's a married man.

    Faro Nell and Her Friends Alfred Henry Lewis
  • In a moment more the pans might crush him, or he might be so benumbed that he could make no further effort to help himself.

  • He did not remember undoing the straps with benumbed and aching fingers.

    Rescue Squad Thomas J. O'Hara
  • But what can be more painful than to see the little sufferers carried along when their limbs are purple, or benumbed with cold?

    The Young Mother William A. Alcott
  • The cruel goading stung the benumbed muscles to quicker action.

    Bloom of Cactus Robert Ames Bennet
British Dictionary definitions for benumbed


verb (transitive)
to make numb or powerless; deaden physical feeling in, as by cold
(usually passive) to make inactive; stupefy (the mind, senses, will, etc)
Derived Forms
benumbingly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for benumbed



late 15c., from be- + numb. Originally of mental states; of the physical body from 1520s. Related: Benumbed; benumbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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