benumb

verb

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

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

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, 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, 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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near benumb

Cite this Entry

“Benumb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/benumb. Accessed 4 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

benumb

verb
be·​numb bi-ˈnəm How to pronounce benumb (audio)
: to make numb especially by cold

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