non·​plus | \ ˌnän-ˈpləs How to pronounce nonplus (audio) \

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 How to pronounce nonplus (audio) \; nonplussing also nonplusing\ ˌnän-​ˈplə-​siŋ How to pronounce nonplus (audio) \

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

Verb I was nonplussed by his openly expressed admiration of me.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Industry experts were nonplussed that the government chose a company that plans weddings and corporate parties over experienced food distributors that submitted bids. Tom Orsborn,, "Federal food program knocked for hiring San Antonio event planner," 14 May 2020 She also was nonplussed by the questionnaire distributed during the flight, which had asked questions about travel to Wuhan, the virus’ epicenter. Lauren Caruba,, "‘Victims of circumstance’: Cruise ship passengers quarantined at Lackland faced chaotic trip home," 18 Feb. 2020 And its performer was no doubt slightly nonplussed, too; Having previously claimed the track could elevate Rita Ora's career to new heights, Warren then called out the British singer for failing to promote it. 8. Jon O'brien, Billboard, "Ranking Diane Warren's Oscar-Nominated Songs," 7 Feb. 2020 Grijalva was nonplussed about the efforts against Sinema, who, like McSally, was in Washington, D.C., for Trump's Senate impeachment trial. Katie Surma, azcentral, "State parties seek unity ahead of elections as dissenters vent at Ducey, Sinema," 25 Jan. 2020 Gayle has yet to feature for Newcastle this season having picked up a calf injury in pre-season, with manager Steve Bruce concerned after specialists seemed nonplussed when attempting to determine the root cause of the problem., "Injury Update on Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle Ahead of Brighton Clash," 20 Sep. 2019 There is nothing wrong with this gentleman or anyone else who is nonplussed by a book that has been widely hailed by the critical establishment. John Warner,, "Don’t read the ‘best’ books; read the ones that resonate for you," 26 Nov. 2019 While Petty’s criminal past has been a concern to some fans, Minaj is nonplussed. Ashley Boucher,, "See Nicki Minaj Flash Her Massive Wedding Ring with Husband Kenneth Petty Dressed Up for Halloween," 30 Oct. 2019 Thankfully, Monzo’s fees aren’t nearly as steep, but some customers appear nonplussed by the metal bling. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "Does anyone really need a metal bank card?," 6 Aug. 2019

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

Noun and Verb

Latin non plus no more

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Time Traveler for nonplus

Time Traveler

The first known use of nonplus was in 1582

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Cite this Entry

“Nonplus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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