Dictionary

astonish

verb as·ton·ish \ə-ˈstä-nish\

: to cause a feeling of great wonder or surprise in (someone)

Full Definition of ASTONISH

transitive verb
1
obsolete :  to strike with sudden fear
2
:  to strike with sudden and usually great wonder or surprise <was too astonished to speak>

Examples of ASTONISH

  1. Despite the hype, there was nothing in the book to astonish readers.
  2. The garden's beauty never fails to astonish.

Origin of ASTONISH

probably from earlier astony (from Middle English astonen, astonien, from Anglo-French estoner to stun, from Vulgar Latin *extonare, from Latin ex- + tonare to thunder) + -ish (as in abolish) — more at thunder
First Known Use: circa 1534

Synonym Discussion of ASTONISH

surprise, astonish, astound, amaze, flabbergast mean to impress forcibly through unexpectedness. surprise stresses causing an effect through being unexpected but not necessarily unusual or novel <surprised to find them at home>. astonish implies surprising so greatly as to seem incredible <a discovery that astonished the world>. astound stresses the shock of astonishment <too astounded to respond>. amaze suggests an effect of bewilderment <amazed by the immense size of the place>. flabbergast may suggest thorough astonishment and bewilderment or dismay <flabbergasted by his angry refusal>.

Rhymes with ASTONISH

ASTONISH Defined for Kids

astonish

verb as·ton·ish \ə-ˈstä-nish\
as·ton·ishedas·ton·ish·ing

Definition of ASTONISH for Kids

:  to strike with sudden wonder or surprise <I was astonished to find a meteorite in my backyard.>

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: astonishablePrevious Word in the Dictionary: astoniedAll Words Near: astonish
July 05, 2015
bunkum Hear it
insincere or foolish talk
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears