[ nuhm-lee ]


  1. without physical sensation or the ability to move:

    It was a spicy dish, but it was kind of fun to bite into the peppers and wait numbly till I could use my mouth again!

  2. in a way characterized by an inability to act or to feel emotion, as after a great shock or when severely depressed:

    Exhausted and traumatized, she numbly watched as others ran to salvage what they could from the wreckage of the building.

    Sometimes you can go through life asleep, lulled by the routine, pushing through numbly to the next thing.

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Word History and Origins

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Example Sentences

Some told community leaders they were overwhelmed by the speed of the processing lines, which left their hands numb.

Workers told advocates their hands were numb at the end of the day, and if they hurt themselves, they were forced to finish their shifts.

A few minutes later, when his hands and left leg went numb, bleak thoughts began circulating in his mind.

Westbrook said she is stepping up public education efforts, but she knows residents are somewhat numb to messages about masks, handwashing and staying home.

At least 90 percent of them do not respond, and I have sent so many that I tend to be numb if I don't get a response.

Boyle and I help him back to his desk, where he sits numbly, beyond the help of those who would help him.

Scott nodded numbly, followed, his head aching and a nameless wave of apprehension sliding through him.

They knelt together, and Hyacinth, numbly indifferent, felt his hand grasped and held.

Beside him sat his secretary, a wizened little man who stared numbly at his clasped hands.

Numbly they followed on—Dor and Jon and Jak and the two youngsters.

Her eyes vacant and numbly fixed, she rose slowly to her feet.


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[ak-suh-lot-l ]

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