amaz·​ing | \ ə-ˈmā-ziŋ How to pronounce amazing (audio) \

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 Big Red Machine stuff is quite far along — and actually, Taylor has been amazing [at giving feedback]. Lyndsey Havens, Billboard, "'There Were Fireworks, Musically': Aaron Dessner Opens Up About Making 'Folklore' With Taylor Swift," 17 Sep. 2020 The sports there and athletic programs are amazing. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "Catching Up With: Fishers' Landon Morris gets chance to play both sides of Mudsock rivalry," 10 Sep. 2020 Camacho said the results of the therapy can be amazing. Ted Dunnam, Houston Chronicle, "Therapy riding group gets back in saddle again," 10 Sep. 2020 Things feel a lot more promising for anyone who is diagnosed now, and that's amazing. Diane J. Cho,, "This Mom of 2 with Cystic Fibrosis Shares Her Parenting Struggles as She Awaits a Double Lung Transplant," 9 Sep. 2020 Backus said the generosity of the brewery’s customers has been amazing during the pandemic, especially when they were only allowed to get to-go orders. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, "Really big tips: Anchorage man joins social media push to aid restaurant workers during pandemic," 7 Sep. 2020 Backus said the generosity of the brewery's customers has been amazing during the pandemic, especially when they were only allowed to get to-go orders. Mark Thiessen, Star Tribune, "Big tippers: Alaska man joins push to aid restaurant workers," 6 Sep. 2020 Putting my result to the side, the experience was amazing and left me wanting more. Dalton Ross,, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Brendan Shapiro shares biggest regret from Ghost Island," 4 Sep. 2020 Center Nikola Vucevic was amazing in the playoffs, averaging 28 points and 11 rebounds. Mike Bianchi,, "With Jonathan Isaac out all of next season, Magic future is cloudy | Commentary," 31 Aug. 2020

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

from present participle of amaze entry 1

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Time Traveler for amazing

Time Traveler

The first known use of amazing was in 1593

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Statistics for amazing

Last Updated

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Amazing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce amazing (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of amazing

: causing great surprise or wonder : causing amazement

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Comments on amazing

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