[ stuhn-ing ]
/ ˈstʌn ɪŋ /
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See synonyms for: stunning / stunningly on Thesaurus.com

causing, capable of causing, or liable to cause astonishment, bewilderment, or a loss of consciousness or strength: a stunning blow.
of striking beauty or excellence: What a stunning dress you're wearing!


1 stupefying, numbing, dumbfounding, astounding.
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On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of stunning

First recorded in 1660–70; stun + -ing2


stun·ning·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does stunning mean?

Stunning essentially means something or someone causes such a huge impact that you are stunned from pain or a wave of emotion.

Stunning can describe something or someone that literally causes physical pain, as in The kickboxer suffered a stunning blow to her face. 

Stunning is also used figuratively to describe something or someone that overwhelms you emotionally or has the potential to overwhelm you emotionally, as in The acrobats performed a stunning routine of flips and cartwheels. 

Finally, stunning can also describe something or someone that is especially beautiful or marvelous, as in The actress wore a stunning dress to the red carpet. You might also use dazzling or gorgeous.

Example: In a stunning act of arrogance, the dictator built a solid gold statue of himself and placed it in the city square. 

Where does stunning come from?

The first records of stunning come from around 1660. It combines the word stun, meaning “to daze, astonish, or overwhelm” and the suffix -ing. If something is stunning, then it is going to stun a person in one way or another.

Stunning refers to things, actions, or people that are so overwhelming that you have to pause for a moment. Stunning is used both positively and negatively.

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What are some other forms related to stunning?

  • stunningly (adverb)

What are some synonyms for stunning?

What are some words that share a root or word element with stunning

What are some words that often get used in discussing stunning?

How is stunning used in real life?

Stunning is a common word that people use to attempt to describe things, events, or people that have overwhelmed them.

Try using stunning!

Which of the following words is a synonym of stunning?

A. boring
B. amazing
C. terrible
D. good

How to use stunning in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stunning

/ (ˈstʌnɪŋ) /

informal very attractive, impressive, astonishing, etc

Derived forms of stunning

stunningly, adverb
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