Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[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. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for benumbed
Historical Examples
  • I lay down on a deck-chair, and when dawn came was benumbed and sleepy.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • It is so cold, so dark, my senses are so benumbed, and the gloom upon me is so dreadful.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • The heart may be quite happy and strong when the hands are benumbed with cold.

    Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood George MacDonald
  • The icy water so benumbed us we could scarcely control our limbs.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • But the gathering grew sad, benumbed, as it were, with lassitude.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • Her anxiety and fatigue had stupefied her and benumbed her faculties.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • He was weary with happiness, a happiness that benumbed his limbs.

  • He was conscious only of a great void and blank as he sat there overpowered and benumbed.

  • He simply felt as if benumbed, as if plunged into gentle and delightful stupor.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • But she did not stir, she did not speak, so benumbed was she with grief.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for benumbed

Word Value for benumbed

Scrabble Words With Friends