as·​ton·​ish·​ing | \ ə-ˈstä-ni-shiŋ How to pronounce astonishing (audio) \

Definition of astonishing

: causing a feeling of great surprise or wonder : surprising an astonishing discovery

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from astonishing

astonishingly \ ə-​ˈstä-​ni-​shiŋ-​lē How to pronounce astonishingly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of astonishing in a Sentence

He showed an astonishing lack of concern for others. The truck can hold an astonishing amount of stuff. She gave an astonishing performance in her first film.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web His tricks are truly astonishing, but perhaps his greatest feat has been overcoming his initial prognosis. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "'A Different Way of Thinking': Louisville magician wows crowd with tricks, autism advocacy," 19 Dec. 2019 In context of history, the loss is even more astonishing., "So much for the idea Patriots would surge into the postseason - The Boston Globe," 31 Dec. 2019 What’s even more astonishing is that different populations of humpback whales, from habitats as diverse as polar and tropical regions, share these common bacteria, with some variations linked to time of year or specific site within a region. Amy Apprill, The Conversation, "My team uses crossbows and drones to collect bacteria from whales - and the results are teaching us how to keep whales healthy," 17 Dec. 2019 The scale of it, said NetBlocks director Toker, was astonishing. Washington Post, "Iranians protested. Then, the Internet was cut, in a new global pattern of digital crackdown.," 21 Nov. 2019 The completion rate for the flight training is an astonishing 95 percent. New York Times, "What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 Max?," 18 Sep. 2019 The filmmakers get astonishing, often adorable, footage of the pachyderms trekking, playing and caring for one another. Judy Berman, Time, "What to Watch—and What to Skip—on Apple TV+," 28 Oct. 2019 Jeanne’s ability to see in somebody who is the most loathed the possibility, not the realization, but the possibility of becoming their best fully human self is astonishing. Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: ‘Father, forgive them’ are not empty words to author Jeanne Bishop," 19 Oct. 2019 The work of many Middle Eastern writers is astonishing. Christian Holub,, "Philip Pullman goes deep on The Secret Commonwealth and the future of His Dark Materials," 18 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'astonishing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of astonishing

1593, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for astonishing

see astonish

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about astonishing

Time Traveler for astonishing

Time Traveler

The first known use of astonishing was in 1593

See more words from the same year

Statistics for astonishing

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Astonishing.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on astonishing

What made you want to look up astonishing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a feeling of well-being or elation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!