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stunning

[stuhn-ing]
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adjective
  1. causing, capable of causing, or liable to cause astonishment, bewilderment, or a loss of consciousness or strength: a stunning blow.
  2. of striking beauty or excellence: What a stunning dress you're wearing!
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Origin of stunning

First recorded in 1660–70; stun + -ing2
Related formsstun·ning·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. stupefying, numbing, dumbfounding, astounding.

stun

[stuhn]
verb (used with object), stunned, stun·ning.
  1. 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.
  2. to astonish; astound; amaze: Her wit stunned the audience.
  3. to shock; overwhelm: The world was stunned by the attempted assassination.
  4. to daze or bewilder by noise.
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noun
  1. the act of stunning.
  2. the condition of being stunned.
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Origin of stun

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

Synonyms

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2, 3. See shock1. 4. stupefy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stunning

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In the hour of triumph the government was doomed to receive a stunning blow.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • She and I have picked out a stunning design for the wedding dress.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • There is no stunning confutation of his nonsense before men and angels.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • He made the statement as if he expected it to come as a stunning surprise.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • The stunning sense of deep affliction is a mercy from on high.


British Dictionary definitions for stunning

stunning

adjective
  1. informal very attractive, impressive, astonishing, etc
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Derived Formsstunningly, adverb

stun

verb stuns, stunning or stunned (tr)
  1. to render unconscious, as by a heavy blow or fall
  2. to shock or overwhelm
  3. to surprise or astound
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noun
  1. the state or effect of being stunned
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Word Origin

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 stunning

stun

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper