\ ˈnəm How to pronounce numb (audio) \

Definition of numb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : unable to feel anything in a particular part of your body especially as a result of cold or anesthesia It was so cold that my fingers went numb.
2 : unable to think, feel, or react normally because of something that shocks or upsets you : indifferent He stood there numb with fear.

numb

verb
numbed; numbing

Definition of numb (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make (someone or something) numb: such as
a : to cause (a part of the body) to lose sensation hands numbed by the cold The injection will numb the area to be operated on.
b : to impair in force or sensation : deaden trying to numb the pain
c : to make (someone) unable to think, feel, or react normally But there is no humor in Natural Born Killers. It is a relentlessly bloody story designed to shock us and to numb us further to the senselessness of reckless murder.— Michael Shnayerson In her last book, Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag disputes the notion that viewers are numbed by an onslaught of photographed calamities.— Dennis Lim But Madame Melmotte was neither crushed by grief nor did she affect to be so crushed. She had been numbed by the suddenness and by the awe of the catastrophe.— Anthony Trolloppe

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Other Words from numb

Adjective

numbly \ ˈnəm-​lē How to pronounce numb (audio) \ adverb
numbness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for numb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of numb in a Sentence

Adjective The side of my face was still numb an hour after the surgery. I had a numb feeling in my toes. It was so cold that my fingers went numb. A stroke can cause one side of your body to go numb. Her son had died and she just felt numb. He stood there numb with fear.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Perhaps people would be less numb to the death toll if it were scaled down to a more human level. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "How to Wrap Your Mind Around 350,000 Deaths," 5 Jan. 2021 Its steering is vague, its handling is clumsy, and the manual's long throws and numb clutch pedal are anything but precise. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, "We Recruit a 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave for Both Work and Play," 24 Nov. 2020 Bass Pro’s HPR Jacket is designed specifically for anglers, starting with a heavy-duty zipper that’s easy to work with cold, numb fingers. Ben Romans, Field & Stream, "The Best Bass Pro Black Friday Deals: Early Holiday Bargains on Hunting, Fishing, and Camping Gear," 17 Nov. 2020 Though she is expected to recover quickly, the gash was bad enough that Carolina’s foot was numb during the entire swim and left her unable to walk on the foot afterward. Katy Reckdahl | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Family of swimmers from New Orleans successfully crosses "the Mexican English Channel"," 27 Dec. 2020 If the holiday season hasn't made your taste buds completely numb to anything pumpkin, try your hand at this brown butter brownie mix loaded with pumpkin spice. Juno Demelo, Glamour, "30 Holiday Desserts to Win Your Virtual Bake-Off," 25 Dec. 2020 For the person who wants to be anywhere but stuck at home for another night binge-watching movies or gaming until their thumbs go numb, take a look at an escape room box like Escape the Crate. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "Stumped on what to get this season? These subscriptions gifts offer perfect fix," 22 Dec. 2020 After a long day and many cups of coffee, our senses numb and our mind wanders. Billy Cadden, Popular Science, "Desk accessories to make your workday more productive, cheerful, and disaster-proof," 21 Dec. 2020 The Chicks' Gaslighter is both, arriving in July when the world seemed so dark that the most effective coping method was to just kind of go numb whenever the news came on. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 50 Best Albums of 2020: Staff Picks," 7 Dec. 2020

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1561, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for numb

Adjective

Middle English nomen, from past participle of nimen to take — more at nim

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Time Traveler for numb

Time Traveler

The first known use of numb was in the 14th century

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Statistics for numb

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Numb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/numb. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for numb

How to pronounce numb (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of numb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: unable to feel anything in a particular part of your body because of cold, injury, etc.
: unable to think, feel, or react normally because of something that shocks or upsets you

numb

verb

English Language Learners Definition of numb (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause (a part of the body) to be unable to feel anything
: to make (someone) unable to think, feel, or react normally
\ ˈnəm How to pronounce numb (audio) \

Kids Definition of numb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : unable to feel anything especially because of cold My toes are numb.
2 : unable to think, feel, or react normally (as because of great fear, surprise, or sadness) For the first few days after she left, I felt numb— Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons

Other Words from numb

numbly adverb He nodded numbly.

numb

verb
numbed; numbing

Kids Definition of numb (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or become unable to feel pain or touch The cold numbed my face.
\ ˈnəm How to pronounce numb (audio) \

Medical Definition of numb

: devoid of sensation (as from the administration of anesthesia or exposure to cold)

Other Words from numb

numb transitive verb
Arm or leg surgery, even total hip replacements, now can be performed with regional anesthesia, which numbs only the area being operated upon. — Marilyn Chase, The Wall Street Journal, 24 June 1996

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