[uh-ston-ish-muh nt]


overpowering wonder or surprise; amazement: He looked with astonishment at his friends.
an object or cause of amazement.

Origin of astonishment

First recorded in 1570–80; astonish + -ment
Related formssu·per·as·ton·ish·ment, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for astonishment

Contemporary Examples of astonishment

Historical Examples of astonishment

  • If Robert was surprised, Ben Haley had even more reason for astonishment.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • And to his astonishment there was none of the shocking effect of his first drink of whisky.

  • Emma appeared in the doorway, her eyebrows elevated in astonishment.

  • He looked at me with astonishment, and in surprise asked, "What are you doing here?"

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • To the astonishment of Cornelius, when at last they rose to go, there were tears in her eyes.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for astonishment



extreme surprise; amazement
a cause of amazement
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 astonishment

1590s; see astonish + -ment. Earlier it meant "paralysis" (1570s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper