non·​plus | \ˌnän-ˈpləs \

Definition of nonplus 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a state of bafflement or perplexity : quandary … reducing the young man to a nonplus— Leigh Hunt … appear to be at a nonplus— George Borrow


nonplussed also nonplused\ ˌnän-​ˈpləst \; nonplussing also nonplusing\ ˌnän-​ˈplə-​siŋ \

Definition of nonplus (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause to be at a loss as to what to say, think, or do : perplex nonplussed by the disclosureNewsweek this turn of events nonplusses me— J. R. Perkins

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Choose the Right Synonym for nonplus


puzzle, perplex, bewilder, distract, nonplus, confound, dumbfound mean to baffle and disturb mentally. puzzle implies existence of a problem difficult to solve. the persistent fever puzzled the doctor perplex adds a suggestion of worry and uncertainty especially about making a necessary decision. a behavior that perplexed her friends bewilder stresses a confusion of mind that hampers clear and decisive thinking. a bewildering number of possibilities distract implies agitation or uncertainty induced by conflicting preoccupations or interests. distracted by personal problems nonplus implies a bafflement that makes orderly planning or deciding impossible. the remark left us utterly nonplussed confound implies temporary mental paralysis caused by astonishment or profound abasement. the tragic news confounded us all dumbfound suggests intense but momentary confounding; often the idea of astonishment is so stressed that it becomes a near synonym of astound. was at first too dumbfounded to reply

Don't Let Nonplus Perplex You


Does nonplus perplex you? You aren't alone. Some people believe the "non" in nonplus means "not" and assume that to be nonplussed is to be calm and poised when just the opposite is true. If you are among the baffled, the word's history may clarify things. In Latin, non plus means "no more." In the earliest known uses, which date to the 16th century, it was used as a noun synonymous with quandary. Someone brought to a nonplus had reached an impasse in an argument and could say no more. Within a few decades of the first known use of the noun, people began using nonplus as a verb, and today it is often used in participial form with the meaning "perplexed" (as in "Joellen's nasty remark left us utterly nonplussed").

Examples of nonplus in a Sentence


I was nonplussed by his openly expressed admiration of me.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Selena Gomez continues to be nonplussed by Justin Bieber's engagement. Kathryn Lindsay,, "Selena Gomez Had The Best Response To Being Grilled By Paps About Bieber," 10 July 2018 Though the film was put together after less than 40 days of shooting, Future was nonplussed by the relatively short timetable he was given to produce the soundtrack. Sonaiya Kelley,, "Why Director X chose Future to follow in Curtis Mayfield's footsteps curating the 'SuperFly' soundtrack," 22 June 2018 Some economists remained nonplussed by the escalating tensions, pointing out that while the United States imports more than $500 billion worth of goods from China, the value of our exports is only around $130 billion. NBC News, "Beijing has tactics besides just tariffs to hurt the U.S. in a trade war," 19 June 2018 Michael was nonplussed by my mixed review of his Fall 2005 collection, taking the attitude that people should take a look and form their own opinion. Vogue, "Remembering Michael Vollbracht, A Designer Whose Vision Was Honed at the Movies," 12 June 2018 Lori was nonplussed at his announcement of his new career. Donald Liebenson,, "Viaggio brings new life to Highland Park location," 9 May 2018 However, many in Metro Orlando seemed nonplussed about the prospect of severe weather. Roger Simmons,, "As Alberto moves north, Tropical Storm warning issued for part of Florida; Orlando in flood watch," 27 May 2018 Bizarre Letter’ European allies, stung by Trump’s recent decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, may be nonplussed by the inconsistencies in Trump’s letter to Kim. Nick Wadhams,, "Improvised Diplomacy, Skipped Meetings: How the Trump-Kim Summit Failed," 24 May 2018 The same determined Italian who stormed England's top division now looks dishevelled, worn down and nonplussed at anything that takes place in front of him., "Exploring the Demise of Antonio Conte: From Chelsea's Enigmatic Leader to Despondent Passenger," 16 May 2018

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


1582, in the meaning defined above


1591, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nonplus


Latin non plus no more


see nonplus entry 1

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The first known use of nonplus was in 1582

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