verb (used with object)
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Origin of daunt
SYNONYMS FOR daunt
OTHER WORDS FROM dauntdaunt·ing·ly, adverbdaunt·ing·ness, nounun·daunt·ing, adjective
Words nearby daunt
What does daunt mean?
Daunt means to intimidate.
This intimidation can be a pretty serious fear, like that of a warrior who daunts enemies in battle. More commonly, though, daunt means to intimidate in a way that’s disheartening, like a task that daunts you because it seems impossible.
People who are intimidated in such a way can be described with the adjective daunted. An even more commonly used adjective is daunting, which comes from the continuous tense (the -ing form) of daunt. If a task is daunting, it’s intimidating or overwhelming in a way that makes you not even want to try to do it.
Example: When I first started at this job, I was really daunted by my first assignment, which was reorganizing 10 years’ worth of files.
Where does daunt come from?
The first records of the word daunt come from around 1300. It comes from the Old French danter, an alteration of donter, meaning “to conquer.” This word came from Latin domitāre, “to tame.”
When you’re daunted by a person, it’s usually more than just intimidation—they strike fear into you. But the word is much more commonly used in reference to intimidating and overwhelming tasks for experiences.
When you’re daunted by a task, you dread doing it—it’s overwhelming and you don’t even know how to begin. The adjective daunting is usually used to describe overwhelming tasks, like reading a 1,000-page book, or writing a 50-page paper, or having to read a 1,000-page book and then write a 50-page paper on it. Sometimes, people can be daunted by things not because they would take a long time to do but simply because they’re intimidating, like speaking in front of a room full of strangers. You can even be daunted by things that are not all that important, like the daunting task of cleaning out the garage for the first time in 15 years, or the daunting commitment of streaming a 10-season TV show.
Some people try to overcome being daunted by a project by breaking it down into smaller tasks, making a to-do list, and crossing things off one at a time. The best way to make an assignment seem less daunting and more doable? Starting it.
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What are some other forms related to daunt?
- daunting (continuous tense verb, adjective)
- dauntingly (adverb)
- dauntingness (noun)
- undaunting (adjective)
What are some synonyms for daunt?
What are some words that share a root or word element with daunt?
What are some words that often get used in discussing daunt?
How is daunt used in real life?
Daunt is often used with words like task and prospect. It can refer to intimidating tasks that are serious or not-so-serious, as long as they’re overwhelming in some way.
I'm happy for this part of my life. Where I'm trying things and no longer fearful of the outcome and no longer daunted by the amount of effort they take to start.
All the irons in the fire, one mus come out as strong as king Arthur's sword.
— Emme KrisTi (@TeraLepido) May 24, 2020
Boak: I reckon early days in your career you are daunted by the crowd. Towards the back end of my career I just enjoy being out there. Garry Hocking told me that as you get older you start to see people's faces in the crowd because you are so much more relaxed.
— Garry and Tim (@SENBreakfast) May 31, 2020
You never really know what the other person is thinking. The uncertainty of it is what daunts me. https://t.co/fzbThM75jl
— END POLICE BRUTALITY! (@itsmaimba) May 25, 2020
Try using daunt!
Is daunt used correctly in the following sentence?
Going to a small gathering might seem like fun, but someone with social anxiety can be really daunted by it.
Example sentences from the Web for daunt
Nothing could daunt the Jesuits—not the loss of all they had, nor protracted suffering, nor cruel death.Pictures of Canadian Life|J. Ewing Ritchie
So I am a fearsome man in the dark, though in the day no man may daunt me.The Story of Rolf and the Viking's Bow|Allen French
Apart from this essential failure, Mrs. Daunt knew only one other.Paths of Judgement|Anne Douglas Sedgwick
But that did not daunt those whose hearts were in the cause.The Slipper Point Mystery|Augusta Huiell Seaman
It seemed to grow hotter the further he pushed; but even that did not daunt him.The Banner Boy Scouts|George A. Warren