Definition of astonish
1 : to strike with sudden and usually great wonder or surprise <He was too astonished to speak> <They were astonished by the vastness and majesty of the cathedral.> <In retrospect, it astonishes me that we avoided a major quarrel for so long. — Christopher Hitchens>
2 obsolete : to strike with sudden fear
Examples of astonish in a sentence
Despite the hype, there was nothing in the book to astonish readers.
The garden's beauty never fails to astonish.
Origin and Etymology of astonish
probably from earlier astony (from Middle English astonen, astonien, from Anglo-French estoner to stun, from Vulgar Latin *extonare, from Latin ex- + tonare to thunder) + -ish (as in abolish) — more at thunder
First Known Use: circa 1534
Synonym Discussion of astonish
ASTONISH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of astonish for English Language Learners
: to cause a feeling of great wonder or surprise in (someone)
ASTONISH Defined for Kids
Definition of astonish for Students
: to strike with sudden wonder or surprise <I was astonished to find a meteorite in my backyard.>
Seen and Heard
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