verb (used with object), stunned, stun·ning.

to deprive of consciousness or strength by or as if by a blow, fall, etc.: The blow to his jaw stunned him for a moment.
to astonish; astound; amaze: Her wit stunned the audience.
to shock; overwhelm: The world was stunned by the attempted assassination.
to daze or bewilder by noise.


the act of stunning.
the condition of being stunned.

Origin of stun

1250–1300; Middle English stonen, stunen (v.) < Old French estoner to shake, make resound; see astonish
Related formsun·stunned, adjective

Synonyms for stun

2, 3. See shock1. 4. stupefy. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stunned

Contemporary Examples of stunned

Historical Examples of stunned

  • But the man had been only stunned by a bullet that plowed its way across the top of his skull.

  • It was a mistake, of course; it wasn't true—somehow it wasn't true, but still it had stunned.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Across the room the four stunned Dyaks were recovering consciousness.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • A moment of stunned quiet had succeeded the peal of thunder.

  • When Saxon had ceased to speak I sat as one stunned, trying to realise what he had said to me.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for stunned


verb stuns, stunning or stunned (tr)

to render unconscious, as by a heavy blow or fall
to shock or overwhelm
to surprise or astound


the state or effect of being stunned

Word Origin for stun

C13 stunen, from Old French estoner to daze, stupefy, from Vulgar Latin extonāre (unattested), from Latin ex- 1 + tonāre to thunder
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 stunned



c.1300, "to daze or render unconscious" (from a blow, powerful emotion, etc.), probably a shortening of Old French estoner "to stun" (see astonish). Stunning popularized for "splendid, excellent" c.1849.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper