amaz·​ing ə-ˈmā-ziŋ How to pronounce amazing (audio)
: 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.
Recent Examples on the Web What’s amazing is that in Germany, there’s never been a bigger and better time for pay TV in Germany. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Sep. 2023 Pros The battery life is amazing, as are all the vibration modes. Amanda Chatel, Glamour, 19 Sep. 2023 Can’t wait for all the amazing adventures & special moments to come with you. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 19 Sep. 2023 Firefall’s first three years were a blur of recording albums and immediately going out on tour – amazing times to be sure. Jae-Ha Kim, Chicago Tribune, 19 Sep. 2023 This new way to enjoy sweet potatoes looks and tastes amazing. Patricia S York, Southern Living, 18 Sep. 2023 More recently, as the leader of Windows, the team has brought amazing services and experiences to hundreds of millions with Windows 11 on innovative devices including those from our OEM partners. Emma Roth, The Verge, 18 Sep. 2023 This weekend in fashion was filled with amazing moments like superstar sensation Beyoncé wearing custom Telfar, collaborations, and rapper Skepta adding designer to her resume. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 18 Sep. 2023 The Appalachian Mountains have created a lush, green paradise in this region, complete with stunning views, amazing hikes, and plenty of fresh air. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 16 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'amazing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from present participle of amaze entry 1

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of amazing was in 1593

Dictionary Entries Near amazing

Cite this Entry

“Amazing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: causing amazement, great wonder, or surprise

More from Merriam-Webster on amazing

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