- causing numbness or insensibility; stupefying: the numbing effects of grief; a story repeated with numbing regularity.
Origin of numbing
- deprived of physical sensation or the ability to move: fingers numb with cold.
- manifesting or resembling numbness: a numb sensation.
- incapable of action or of feeling emotion; enervated; prostrate: numb with grief.
- lacking or deficient in emotion or feeling; indifferent: She was numb to their pleas for mercy.
- to make numb.
Origin of numb
Examples from the Web for numbing
The refugee stories are compelling at first, but horrific details are numbing.Inside the Smuggling Networks Flooding Europe with Refugees
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 15, 2014
The complexities within that religious order, renowned for its scholars and loyalty to the pope, make for a numbing leitmotif.How the Catholic Church Got in Bed with Mussolini
February 5, 2014
Those are the numbers, and numbers have a way of numbing us to the complexities that make up everyday life.The Battle with PTSD After the Fighting Stops
October 9, 2013
It is hard not to be moved when Americans talk about the anguish of losing their jobs, giving voice to the numbing statistics.Sob-Story Campaign Between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama Turns on Personal Pain
May 25, 2012
Governments rise and fall all over the world with numbing regularity, and some default on their debts, and life goes on.Chaos Over New Elections Deepens Fear of a Greece Chain Reaction
May 16, 2012
His knees were shaking, a cold icy horror was numbing his heart and senses.The Avenger
E. Phillips Oppenheim
Why had this come upon her, this cruel, numbing disgrace and sorrow?Jan and Her Job
L. Allen Harker
A conception—a reality here—that was numbing in its vastness.The World Beyond
Raymond King Cummings
The chafing of his horses had penetrated to his numbing brain.The Twins of Suffering Creek
Desperately he fought to prevent the numbing sensation from overcoming him.
- deprived of feeling through cold, shock, etc
- unable to move; paralysed
- characteristic of or resembling numbnessa numb sensation
- to make numb; deaden, shock, or paralyse
Word Origin and History for numbing
1550s, from numb (adj.). Related: Numbed; numbing.
c.1400, nome, "deprived of motion or feeling," literally "taken, seized," from past participle of nimen "to take, seize," from Old English niman "to take, catch, grasp" (see nimble). The extraneous -b (to conform to comb, limb, etc.) appeared 17c. The notion is of being "taken" with palsy, shock, and especially cold. Figurative use from 1560s.
- Being unable or only partially able to feel sensation or pain; deadened or anesthetized.
- Being emotionally unresponsive; indifferent.
- To make or become numb.