[stoo-puh-fahy, styoo-]

verb (used with object), stu·pe·fied, stu·pe·fy·ing.

to put into a state of little or no sensibility; benumb the faculties of; put into a stupor.
to stun, as with a narcotic, a shock, or a strong emotion.
to overwhelm with amazement; astound; astonish.

Origin of stupefy

1590–1600; < Middle French stupefierLatin stupefacere to benumb, equivalent to stupe-, stem of stupēre to be numb or stunned + facere to make, do1; see -fy
Related formsstu·pe·fied·ness [stoo-puh-fahyd-nis, -fahy-id-, styoo-] /ˈstu pəˌfaɪd nɪs, -ˌfaɪ ɪd-, ˈstyu-/, nounstu·pe·fi·er, nounstu·pe·fy·ing·ly, adverbun·stu·pe·fied, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stupefy

Historical Examples of stupefy

  • When he felt it whipping about in him, he drank alcohol to stupefy it and get some ease for himself.

    O Pioneers!

    Willa Cather

  • We had to stupefy them a little, since they had their swords, and I feared that they might resist.

  • If the old man had meant to stupefy his questioner, he could not better have succeeded.

    Laramie Holds the Range

    Frank H. Spearman

  • Consider the bringing to the Jove there news of such magnitude as to stupefy him!

  • I was obliged to etherize it a little, so as to stupefy it, and render it less uneasy.

    The Insect

    Jules Michelet

British Dictionary definitions for stupefy


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)

to render insensitive or lethargic
to confuse or astound
Derived Formsstupefier, nounstupefying, adjectivestupefyingly, adverb

Word Origin for stupefy

C16: from Old French stupefier, from Latin stupefacere; see stupefacient
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 stupefy

1510s (implied in past participle stupefact), from Middle French stupéfier, from Latin stupefacere "make stupid or senseless," from stupere "be stunned" (see stupid) + facere "to make" (see factitious).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper