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2017 Word of the Year

benumb

[bih-nuhm] /bɪˈnʌm/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make numb; deprive of sensation:
benumbed by cold.
2.
to render inactive; deaden or stupefy.
Origin of benumb
1350-1400
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
benumbedness
[bih-nuhmd-nis, -nuhm-id-] /bɪˈnʌmd nɪs, -ˈnʌm ɪd-/ (Show IPA),
noun
benumbingly, adverb
benumbment, noun
unbenumbed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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

benumb

/bɪˈnʌm/
verb (transitive)
1.
to make numb or powerless; deaden physical feeling in, as by cold
2.
(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

benumb

v.

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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Word Value for benumbed

15
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