verb (used with object)

to make numb; deprive of sensation: benumbed by cold.
to render inactive; deaden or stupefy.

Origin of benumb

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 formsbe·numbed·ness [bih-nuhmd-nis, -nuhm-id-] /bɪˈnʌmd nɪs, -ˈnʌm ɪd-/, nounbe·numb·ing·ly, adverbbe·numb·ment, nounun·be·numbed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for benumb

numb, blunt, cumber, daze, stupefy, deaden, stun, chill, hebetate

Examples from the Web for benumb

Historical Examples of benumb

British Dictionary definitions for benumb


verb (tr)

to make numb or powerless; deaden physical feeling in, as by cold
(usually passive) to make inactive; stupefy (the mind, senses, will, etc)
Derived Formsbenumbingly, 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

Word Origin and History for benumb

late 15c., from be- + numb. Originally of mental states; of the physical body from 1520s. Related: Benumbed; benumbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper