1

nonplus

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noun non·plus \ˌnän-ˈpləs\

Definition of nonplus

  1. :  a state of bafflement or perplexity :  quandary

Origin and Etymology of nonplus

Latin non plus no more


First Known Use: 1582


2

nonplus

verb non·plus

Definition of nonplus

nonplussed

also

nonplused

\-ˈpləst\

nonplussing

also

nonplusing

\-ˈplə-siŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to cause to be at a loss as to what to say, think, or do :  perplex

Examples of nonplus in a sentence

  1. <I was nonplussed by his openly expressed admiration of me.>

Did You Know?

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." When "nonplus" debuted in English in 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 10 years 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").

1591

First Known Use of nonplus

1591

Synonym Discussion of 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>.


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