flab·​ber·​gast ˈfla-bər-ˌgast How to pronounce flabbergast (audio)
flabbergasted; flabbergasting; flabbergasts

transitive verb

: to overwhelm with shock, surprise, or wonder : dumbfound
We were flabbergasted by the news that he had won the lottery.
flabbergastingly adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for flabbergast

surprise, astonish, astound, amaze, flabbergast mean to impress forcibly through unexpectedness.

surprise stresses causing an effect through being unexpected but not necessarily unusual or novel.

surprised to find them at home

astonish implies surprising so greatly as to seem incredible.

a discovery that astonished the world

astound stresses the shock of astonishment.

too astounded to respond

amaze suggests an effect of bewilderment.

amazed by the immense size of the place

flabbergast may suggest thorough astonishment and bewilderment or dismay.

flabbergasted by his angry refusal

Examples of flabbergast in a Sentence

It flabbergasts me to see how many people still support them. your decision to suddenly quit your job flabbergasts me
Recent Examples on the Web Elton John ‘flabbergasted’ and teary after Biden surprises him with medal More anti-LGBTQ+ bills passed into state law in the first four months of this year than at any other time in U.S. history, a Post analysis earlier this year found. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, 20 June 2023 The stadium negotiator was flabbergasted that the A’s had dodged both requests. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2023 Despite Cook’s assertions that the headset will be a game changer, the product was met with a mixed reception, with many impressed by its capabilities but flabbergasted by the hefty price tag. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 7 June 2023 Pascal played a popular high school teacher flabbergasted by TikTok fancams. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 11 Apr. 2023 Basic logistical failures like fuel shortages stalled Russian efforts within the first week of the invasion, showing a level of unpreparedness in Moscow’s ranks that flabbergasted Western defense officials. Fox News, 24 Feb. 2023 Fedotowsky remembers being flabbergasted and confused by the exchange. Caroline Thayer, Fox News, 30 Mar. 2023 One of the company’s researchers, Jules Silverman, plucked several roaches from a Gainesville apartment—and was flabbergasted to find that the insects were no longer tempted by Combat’s corn syrup and instead scuttled away in disgust. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 29 Mar. 2023 His words rolled across the bottom of the screen in Arabic while men in djellabas, flabbergasted by the spectacle, sat transfixed beside their hookahs. Nina Burleigh, The New Republic, 17 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flabbergast.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1772, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flabbergast was in 1772

Dictionary Entries Near flabbergast

Cite this Entry

“Flabbergast.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flabbergast. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


flab·​ber·​gast ˈflab-ər-ˌgast How to pronounce flabbergast (audio)

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