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

The accomplished actress presented Chalamet with a the Spotlight Award at the 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala earlier this week and had literally nothing but amazing things to say about him backstage. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Laura Dern Wants Timothée Chalamet to Join the 'Big Little Lies' Cast," 6 Jan. 2019 The amazing thing is that this feels like just the tip of the iceberg for Netflix. Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "THR's TV Critics Debate the Highs and Lows of the 2018 Emmy Nominations," 12 July 2018 And there’s just so much amazing television right now. Deborah Vankin,, "Tatiana Maslany talks Emmy nomination and the 12 women she plays in 'Orphan Black'," 12 July 2018 Franceschelli also has another board book in the series called Hello, Paris!. This community-minded book is a hopeful meditation on the amazing and challenging aspects of being human. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 17 best kids’ books about design and cities," 12 Dec. 2018 The amazing and beyond talented @hayleykrischer came out to #LA to see the house and get the whole scoop. Temi Adebowale, House Beautiful, "'Restored By The Fords' Star Leanne Ford Is Pregnant With Her First Child," 10 Oct. 2018 Take Flight,’ which was absolutely charming and amazing. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "KC Fringe Festival brings an adventurous spirit to classical themes," 13 July 2018 In case the house needed anything else to be amazing, there’s a bonus room with a seriously unique vintage ski wall and stylish Mid-century modern wooden chairs, a mud room, a laundry room, and even a pet nook for your best friend. Sam Gutierrez, House Beautiful, "The HGTV Dream Home 2019 Is A Modern Mountain Escape," 11 Dec. 2018 Best: The Miami Look Over the summer, Brit spent time in Miami and looked amazing her whole trip. Jessica Booth, Redbook, "See Britney Spears' Hottest and Most Cringeworthy Looks of 2018," 20 Nov. 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








Statistics for amazing

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for amazing

The first known use of amazing was in 1593

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More Definitions for amazing



English Language Learners Definition of amazing

: causing great surprise or wonder : causing amazement

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More from Merriam-Webster on amazing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with amazing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for amazing

Spanish Central: Translation of amazing

Nglish: Translation of amazing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amazing for Arabic Speakers

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).


marked by shyness and lack of polish

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