- deprived of physical sensation or the ability to move: fingers numb with cold.
- manifesting or resembling numbness: a numb sensation.
- incapable of action or of feeling emotion; enervated; prostrate: numb with grief.
- lacking or deficient in emotion or feeling; indifferent: She was numb to their pleas for mercy.
- to make numb.
Origin of numb
Examples from the Web for numbness
As with other GAN kids, numbness is accompanied by an unusual sensitivity.The Shutdown’s Human Cost: A Family’s Hopes at NIH Put on Hold
October 12, 2013
Sometimes only the immediacy of news can break through the numbness.Elizabeth Wurtzel: My Tea Party Mom Loves Al Jazeera America
September 4, 2013
The shock of the first air-raid sirens giving way to a kind of numbness.Red Alert in Tel Aviv: Fear Inside the Israeli City’s Bubble
November 20, 2012
It took a while for the numbness that followed the initial shock to wear off.How Dorothy Sandusky Could Have Been Duped
November 26, 2011
He had intermittent periods of numbness in the lower half of his body.Southern Lights and Shadows
"It's there you are a fool," she said, moved actually now by his numbness to his own endowment.The Prisoner
I am widowed; and the first numbness of the unexpected shock has not left me yet.The Genius
Margaret Horton Potter
He was waiting until the first numbness of the shock had passed.The Grell Mystery
He had a gone feeling at the pit of the stomach, and suffered from faintness and numbness.Lost Face
- deprived of feeling through cold, shock, etc
- unable to move; paralysed
- characteristic of or resembling numbnessa numb sensation
- to make numb; deaden, shock, or paralyse
Word Origin and History for numbness
1550s, from numb (adj.). Related: Numbed; numbing.
c.1400, nome, "deprived of motion or feeling," literally "taken, seized," from past participle of nimen "to take, seize," from Old English niman "to take, catch, grasp" (see nimble). The extraneous -b (to conform to comb, limb, etc.) appeared 17c. The notion is of being "taken" with palsy, shock, and especially cold. Figurative use from 1560s.
- Being unable or only partially able to feel sensation or pain; deadened or anesthetized.
- Being emotionally unresponsive; indifferent.
- To make or become numb.