See more synonyms for benumb on

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. 2018

Examples from the Web for benumbed

Historical Examples of benumbed

  • I lay down on a deck-chair, and when dawn came was benumbed and sleepy.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • It is so cold, so dark, my senses are so benumbed, and the gloom upon me is so dreadful.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • The heart may be quite happy and strong when the hands are benumbed with cold.

  • The icy water so benumbed us we could scarcely control our limbs.

  • But the gathering grew sad, benumbed, as it were, with lassitude.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for benumbed


verb (tr)
  1. to make numb or powerless; deaden physical feeling in, as by cold
  2. (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 benumbed



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper