amazing

adjective
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 Carson Wentz is set to have plenty more sleepless nights, but the Eagles star will be up late for an amazing reason. Glenn Erby, Eagles Wire, "Eagles QB Carson Wentz and wife are expecting their first child," 28 Nov. 2019 The Vogue piece was amazing, and created a lot of opportunities for Tyler. Brianna Holt, Quartz at Work, "After 33 years in modeling, Naomi Campbell is finally getting to work with black photographers," 27 Nov. 2019 The fact that tumors that have complex genetic alterations can have a dependency on a single driver, to me, is amazing. Shraddha Chakradhar, STAT, "Longtime cancer researcher Charles Sawyers named first STAT Biomedical Innovation Award winner," 21 Nov. 2019 Some are predictable names; others are under-the radar individuals who are doing amazing things. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "How to nominate someone for The Courier Journal’s “20 People to Watch in 2020”," 18 Nov. 2019 Even if your career path seems unclear, your varied talents and interest could one day coalesce into something truly amazing. Shalini Govil-pai, Quartz at Work, "Your unconventional career path does not reflect a lack of focus," 6 Nov. 2019 To his surprise the water was not nearby but there was this amazing cave. National Geographic, "Episode 4: Cave of the Jaguar God," 5 Nov. 2019 Remember the whole Blizzard, Hong Kong, Hearthstone story, where amazing pro player Blitzchung got banned for several months for speaking out about politics on a Blizzard stream? Wired, "The Witcher Trailer Is Here—and It's Shockingly Good," 1 Nov. 2019 For us, the in-house brand Rosaline is a prime example of a product that offers comfort at an amazing price. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Zivame’s strategy to be the perfect fit for India’s lingerie market: personalise, price right, go omnichannel," 30 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler for amazing

Time Traveler

The first known use of amazing was in 1593

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Statistics for amazing

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Amazing.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amazing. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for amazing

amazing

adjective
How to pronounce amazing (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of amazing

: causing great surprise or wonder : causing amazement

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More from Merriam-Webster on amazing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for amazing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with amazing

Spanish Central: Translation of amazing

Nglish: Translation of amazing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amazing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on amazing

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