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speechless

[speech-lis]
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adjective
  1. temporarily deprived of speech by strong emotion, physical weakness, exhaustion, etc.: speechless with alarm.
  2. characterized by absence or loss of speech: speechless joy.
  3. lacking the faculty of speech; dumb.
  4. not expressed in speech or words: speechless compliments.
  5. refraining from speech.
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Origin of speechless

before 1000; Middle English specheles, Old English spǣclēas. See speech, -less
Related formsspeech·less·ly, adverbspeech·less·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. dumfounded, shocked, mute. 3. silent, mute.

Antonyms

1–3. loquacious, voluble, talkative.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for speechless

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She was speechless; her raised hand did not fall; it was as if she were frozen where she stood.

  • We lifts him up, and he was speechless, and quite black in the face.

  • Hawkeye regarded the young man a moment in speechless amazement.

    The Last of the Mohicans

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Bohun was speechless for a moment, stricken dumb by a second seizure of fury.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • "S'long," said he, and left briskly, leaving Duncan speechless.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance


British Dictionary definitions for speechless

speechless

adjective
  1. not able to speak
  2. temporarily deprived of speech
  3. not expressed or able to be expressed in wordsspeechless fear
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Derived Formsspeechlessly, adverbspeechlessness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for speechless

adj.

Old English spæcleas "permanently mute;" see speech + -less. Meaning "mute by effect of astonishment" is from late 14c. Related: Speechlessly; speechlessness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper