amazing

adjective

Definition of amazing 

: causing astonishment, great wonder, or surprise an amazing story of personal bravery and survival

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Can amazing mean "good"?

One common complaint regarding the adjectival use of amazing is the extent to which the word is used in what some feel is a watered-down fashion. Those who take this position argue that unless someone is literally being amazed, the word is ill-chosen.

While this defense of semantic integrity is understandable, we must point out that the broadened meaning of amazing is hardly an isolated case. In fact, a number of words that are semantically similar to amazing have also come unmoored from their original meanings. Fabulous once meant “characteristic of fables," and the earliest known sense of terrific was “exciting fear or awe.” Although the weakened meanings of such words have elicited complaints, most of them have eventually become accepted into the language over the course of time.

That being said, the use of amazing to indicate that something is slightly better than “pleasant” may provoke skepticism in others, so you are advised to know your audience before using it in this way.

Examples of amazing in a Sentence

He showed an amazing lack of concern for others. The amazing thing is that no one knows where it came from. He has an amazing ability to learn new languages. Her grandmother was really an amazing woman.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Outlook: Snyder’s coaching longevity is nothing short of amazing. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Steady Kansas State is No. 44 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 14 July 2018 Though beach chillin', outdoor picnics, and poolside frolicking are amazing, the UV rays, salt water, and humidity that often comes with all that can truly take a toll on your hair. Wendy Sy, Allure, "30 New Hair-Care Products You Need to Try This Summer," 12 July 2018 Most of these campuses that were labeled low performing are now meeting standard, including White and Logan elementaries, where the results are nothing short of amazing. Kent P. Scribner, star-telegram, "FWISD superintendent announces "turnaround" at some low-performing elementary schools," 28 June 2018 Winning a championship with that great team was amazing. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Belinelli hopes to rekindle magic in second stint with Spurs," 10 July 2018 Amazon Prime Day is officially July 16, but the site is launching some amazing deals on workout clothes a day early. Susan Brickell, Health.com, "Amazon Just Leaked an Early Prime Day Deal—and It’s Perfect for Fitness Junkies," 12 July 2018 Flo is amazing with its updated take on Tex-Mex in the city. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Drag queen Lucy Stoole's guide to Pride 2018," 21 June 2018 The World Wide Web is about to reach an amazing and terrible milestone: soon, 50 percent of the world’s population will be online. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Accountability for the Algorithms," 13 July 2018 This luxe tulip-hemmed robe feels amazing against skin. Susan Brickell, Health.com, "The Bra and Underwear Sale You Won't Want to Miss on Amazon Tomorrow," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amazing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of amazing

1593, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for amazing

see amaze entry 1

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Learn More about amazing

Dictionary Entries near amazing

amazeiner

amazement

Amazilia

amazing

amazingly

amazon

Amazon

Statistics for amazing

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for amazing

The first known use of amazing was in 1593

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More Definitions for amazing

amazing

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of amazing

: causing great surprise or wonder : causing amazement

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Comments on amazing

What made you want to look up amazing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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