as·​ton·​ish·​ment | \ ə-ˈstä-nish-mənt How to pronounce astonishment (audio) \

Definition of astonishment

1a : a feeling of great surprise and wonder : the state of being astonished : amazement The garden's beauty filled me with astonishment.
2 : something that astonishes : a cause of amazement or wonder Everything that he had seen so far … had been so astonishing that he began to wonder whether there could possibly be any more astonishments left.— Roald Dahl

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Examples of astonishment in a Sentence

The garden's beauty filled me with astonishment. A crowd watched in astonishment as he jumped from the bridge. They discovered to their astonishment that their car had been stolen. Much to the astonishment of her friends and family, she left school to pursue her acting career.
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Recent Examples on the Web The entirety of my stay yielded continually rising astonishment at the fine touches of the resort’s amenities. Sunset Magazine, "Sparkling New Resort in Mexico Offers a Pristine (& Safe) Beachside Escape," 30 Dec. 2020 This kind of spending, at this time, for this reason, has elicited criticism and some astonishment from those who monitor and work in college sports. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, "Colleges still have millions to fire football coaches despite claiming financial trouble from coronavirus," 18 Dec. 2020 There is a droopiness to the branches that reminds me of my friend, the one who calls to ask what’s the point, or the patients who come to me, swarmed with misery and astonishment, their hearts like newborns after the first needle. Hala Alyan, The New Yorker, "Spoiler," 21 Sep. 2020 His feat is met mostly with respect, astonishment and admiration. David Ginsburg, Star Tribune, "Iron streak, golden memory: Ripken embraces 2,131st game," 5 Sep. 2020 Some people reacted to the president’s diagnosis Friday by expressing astonishment that the most important person in the world contracted the virus — seeing it as a sign of the virus’ rapaciousness. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "Hugs, handshakes, and few masks: A Rose Garden Supreme Court announcement packed with Covid-19 red flags," 3 Oct. 2020 One of the best parts about following camp through social media is seeing a steady stream of CeeDee Lamb praise and astonishment roll in after each practice. John Owning, Dallas News, "5 interesting developments from Cowboys training camp: Pair of D-linemen among top stories so far," 26 Aug. 2020 But any astonishment at a person running for office at the age of 19 quickly dissipated in August when allegations of harassment and violence surfaced from former classmates. Sarah Midkiff,, "The Revenge Porn Guy Was Just Elected To Office In Kansas," 5 Nov. 2020 An elderly Dominican man expressed astonishment at the size of the pro-Biden crowd in a park where Trump supporters convene regularly. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "How Latino Grassroots Organizers Are Fighting to Lift Biden in Florida," 1 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'astonishment.' 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 astonishment

1566, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for astonishment

Time Traveler

The first known use of astonishment was in 1566

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Statistics for astonishment

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Astonishment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce astonishment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of astonishment

: a feeling of being very surprised


as·​ton·​ish·​ment | \ ə-ˈstä-nish-mənt How to pronounce astonishment (audio) \

Kids Definition of astonishment

: great surprise or wonder : amazement We watched in astonishment.

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