benumb

verb
be·​numb | \ bi-ˈnəm How to pronounce benumb (audio) , bē- \
benumbed; benumbing; benumbs

Definition of benumb

transitive verb

1 : to make inactive : deaden
2 : to make numb especially by cold

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for benumb

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of benumb in a Sentence

a succession of personal tragedies had benumbed him to all grief
Recent Examples on the Web What’s destructive, and eventually benumbing, is the kitchen-sink clutter of fantasy, reality, wish-fulfillment and glib enchantment. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Kid Who Would Be King’ Review: Some Brief, Shining Moments," 24 Jan. 2019 But her core insight into how even mediocrities can be institutionally benumbed and conscripted into heinous projects remains fertile. George Prochnik, New York Times, "The Philosopher in Dark Times," 12 Apr. 2018

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

First Known Use of benumb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for benumb

Middle English benomen, from benomen, past participle of benimen to deprive, from Old English beniman, from be- + niman to take — more at nimble

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about benumb

Time Traveler for benumb

Time Traveler

The first known use of benumb was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for benumb

Cite this Entry

“Benumb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/benumb. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for benumb

benumb

verb
How to pronounce benumb (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of benumb

formal : to make (someone) numb or unable to have emotions

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on benumb

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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