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Origin of mind-boggling
OTHER WORDS FROM mind-bogglingmind-bog·gling·ly, adverb
Words nearby mind-boggling
What does mind-boggling mean?
Mind-boggling means utterly overwhelming to the mind or extremely difficult to understand or comprehend.
Things are often described as mind-boggling when they’re incredibly complex or exist on a scale that’s impossible to comprehend or “wrap your head around.”
A similar term is mind-blowing. Mind-blowing is usually used to describe things that are impressive, whereas mind-boggling usually describes things that are confusing or hard to even think about. Still, the terms are often used interchangeably.
The related verb phrase boggle the mind means to astound or be incomprehensible, as in His behavior really boggles the mind sometimes—I can’t begin to understand his motivation for doing the things he does.
Example: The size and scale of the universe is mind-boggling—it’s impossible to grasp its magnitude.
Where does mind-boggling come from?
The first records of the term mind-boggling come from the mid-1900s. The phrase the mind boggles (at something) is recorded earlier, right around 1900. It’s basically the passive form of boggle the mind, as in The mind boggles at the unexplored depths of the ocean. The verb boggle may derive from the word bogle, an old term for a kind of ghost or goblin (the word boogeyman is based on the same root).
Things described as mind-boggling are incomprehensible, astounding, and bewildering. They overwhelm our minds with their utter complexity, massiveness, strangeness, or a combination of these things. Of course, the word is often used to exaggerate how big or complex something is. Big numbers are often described as mind-boggling. Another word for this is astronomical, as in The estimated cost is astronomical—it’s mind-bogglingly huge. This uses the scale of the universe as a metaphor for things that are huge and unable to be put in perspective. This is exactly the kind of thing that mind-boggling is used to describe.
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What are some other forms related to mind-boggling?
- mind-bogglingly (adverb)
What are some synonyms for mind-boggling?
What are some words that share a root or word element with mind-boggling?
What are some words that often get used in discussing mind-boggling?
How is mind-boggling used in real life?
Mind-boggling is typically used informally, even when applied to scientific topics like the size of the universe.
‘While @HighwaysEngland has argued that its plan to improve the A303 with a tunnel will cut congestion, Professor Parker Pearson said: “The expenses per mile are mind-boggling. It’s a tunnel that’s basically 2.9km long and it’s going to cost £1.6bn.’https://t.co/R1z98yHden
— Stonehenge Alliance (@SaveStonehenge) June 22, 2020
The images acquired by the radar on board #Sentinel1 🇪🇺🛰️ over #AbacoIsland in the #Bahamas show the mind-boggling magnitude of the storm surge as a result of #HurricaneDorian pic.twitter.com/QiRuu4Z0lI
— Copernicus EMS (@CopernicusEMS) September 3, 2019
Zhongshuge Bookstore in Chongqing, China, uses mirrored ceilings and a maze of staircases to create a mind-boggling space pic.twitter.com/ufcPJiQu8s
— Diane Doniol-Valcroze (@ddoniolvalcroze) June 17, 2020
Try using mind-boggling!
Is mind-boggling used correctly in the following sentence?
The fact that such a bad movie can win so many awards is mind-boggling.
Example sentences from the Web for mind-boggling
And not just sick in the body but in your mind, because you start obsessing.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze|Lizzie Crocker|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The questions going through my mind are: How on earth are there Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers in the heart of Paris?Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive|Ayaan Hirsi Ali|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
True, this may not be what James Madison had in mind when he was writing the Bill of Rights.Why We Stand With Charlie Hebdo—And You Should Too|John Avlon|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
And keep in mind that when Huckabee ran for president in 2008, he won the Iowa caucuses.
Accusing his opponents of being locked in a Cold War mind-set, it is Stone who is beholden to old orthodoxies.
Other things being equal, the volume of voice used measures the value that the mind puts upon the thought.Expressive Voice Culture|Jessie Eldridge Southwick
He was too drowsy to hold the thought more than a moment in his mind, much less to reflect upon it.
"There's just one thing I'd like to ask, if you don't mind," said Cynthia, coming suddenly out of a brown study.The Boarded-Up House|Augusta Huiell Seaman
The vision—it had been an instantaneous flash after all and nothing more—had left his mind completely for the time.
Many British Ferns evidence a marked tendency to “sport,” and this is a fact which the beginner should always bear in mind.How to Know the Ferns|S. Leonard Bastin