temporarily deprived of speech by strong emotion, physical weakness, exhaustion, etc.: speechless with alarm.
characterized by absence or loss of speech: speechless joy.
lacking the faculty of speech; dumb.
not expressed in speech or words: speechless compliments.
refraining from speech.

Origin of speechless

before 1000; Middle English specheles, Old English spǣclēas. See speech, -less
Related formsspeech·less·ly, adverbspeech·less·ness, noun

Synonyms for speechless

1. dumfounded, shocked, mute. 3. silent, mute.

Antonyms for speechless

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for speechless

Contemporary Examples of speechless

Historical Examples of speechless

  • She was speechless; her raised hand did not fall; it was as if she were frozen where she stood.

  • We lifts him up, and he was speechless, and quite black in the face.

  • Hawkeye regarded the young man a moment in speechless amazement.

    The Last of the Mohicans

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Bohun was speechless for a moment, stricken dumb by a second seizure of fury.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • "S'long," said he, and left briskly, leaving Duncan speechless.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for speechless



not able to speak
temporarily deprived of speech
not expressed or able to be expressed in wordsspeechless fear
Derived Formsspeechlessly, adverbspeechlessness, 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

Word Origin and History for speechless

Old English spæcleas "permanently mute;" see speech + -less. Meaning "mute by effect of astonishment" is from late 14c. Related: Speechlessly; speechlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper