Origin and Etymology of nonplus
Latin non plus no more
First Known Use: 1582
Definition of nonplus
: to cause to be at a loss as to what to say, think, or do : perplex
Examples of nonplus in a sentence
<I was nonplussed by his openly expressed admiration of me.>
Did You Know?
Does "nonplus" perplex you? You aren't alone. Some people believe the "non" in nonplus means "not" and assume that to be "nonplussed" is to be calm and poised when just the opposite is true. If you are among the baffled, the word's history may clarify things. In Latin, non plus means "no more." When "nonplus" debuted in English in the 16th century, it was used as a noun synonymous with "quandary." Someone brought to a nonplus had reached an impasse in an argument and could say no more. Within 10 years of the first known use of the noun, people began using "nonplus" as a verb, and today it is often used in participial form with the meaning "perplexed" (as in "Joellen's nasty remark left us utterly nonplussed").
First Known Use of nonplus
Synonym Discussion of nonplus
Seen and Heard
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