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2017 Word of the Year

speechless

[speech-lis] /ˈspitʃ lɪs/
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.
Origin of speechless
1000
before 1000; Middle English specheles, Old English spǣclēas. See speech, -less
Related forms
speechlessly, adverb
speechlessness, noun
Synonyms
1. dumfounded, shocked, mute. 3. silent, mute.
Antonyms
1–3. loquacious, voluble, talkative.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • 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

/ˈspiːtʃlɪs/
adjective
1.
not able to speak
2.
temporarily deprived of speech
3.
not expressed or able to be expressed in words: speechless fear
Derived Forms
speechlessly, adverb
speechlessness, 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
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for speechless

17
19
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