[ nuhm ]
See synonyms for: numbnumbednumbernumbing on

adjective,numb·er, numb·est.
  1. deprived of physical sensation or the ability to move: fingers numb with cold.

  2. manifesting or resembling numbness: a numb sensation.

  1. incapable of action or of feeling emotion; enervated; prostrate: numb with grief.

  2. lacking or deficient in emotion or feeling; indifferent: She was numb to their pleas for mercy.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make numb.

Origin of numb

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English nome, literally, “taken, seized,” variant of nomen, numen, Old English numen, past participle of niman “to take, steal”; cf. nim1

Other words from numb

  • numb·ly, adverb
  • numb·ness, noun
  • half-numb, adjective
  • un·numbed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use numb in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for numb


/ (nʌm) /

  1. deprived of feeling through cold, shock, etc

  2. unable to move; paralysed

  1. characteristic of or resembling numbness: a numb sensation

  1. to make numb; deaden, shock, or paralyse

Origin of numb

C15: nomen, literally: taken (with paralysis), from Old English niman to take; related to Old Norse nema, Old High German niman

Derived forms of numb

  • numbly, adverb
  • numbness, noun

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