numb

adjective
\ 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 numbly (audio) \ adverb
numbness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for numb

Synonyms: Adjective

asleep, benumbed, dead, insensitive, numbed, torpid, unfeeling

Antonyms: Adjective

feeling, sensible, sensitive

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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

Most Read Local Stories Leaving the hospital, Krasnitskiy lumbered into the parking lot gingerly, his feet still partly numb from frostbite. Evan Bush, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s miserable, but we’re alive’: Portland climber recounts dramatic days stranded on Mount Rainier," 6 June 2019 His face felt numb and droopy, and his speech became slurred. Julia Michie Bruckner, Discover Magazine, "Is a Teen's Pain Just Drama, or Something Worse?," 12 Mar. 2019 The cold air smelled like ash, and after seven days of climbing, his legs were numb. Ysabelle Kempe, BostonGlobe.com, "What does it take to climb Mount Kilimanjaro when you’re blind?," 5 June 2019 If the prevalence of abusive Google Play apps has left you numb, this latest report is for you. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "238 Google Play apps with >440 million installs made phones nearly unusable," 4 June 2019 This bike just ain’t the most comfortable ride in these conditions, but the views of the California Gulf distract me from the fact that my arms are numb, my front end is wobbly, and there are multiple goats running in front of me. David Curcurito, Popular Mechanics, "A Day on the New Indian FTR 1200, Then Tequila," 16 May 2019 Other relatives circled around in the garage — nursing beers, numb in grief, sharing funny memories and trying to cheer each other up. USA TODAY, "'Half my family is gone': Mom mourns Iowa family found dead at Mexico resort," 23 Mar. 2018 And throughout the show up to this point, Offred’s Ceremonies with the Waterfords have been filmed as, indeed, ceremonial, a mechanical act throughout which everyone’s faces are eerily blank, as though in a trance or simply numb. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Episode 9 Brings Resistance In Many Forms," 9 June 2017 But in the moment where the words of a president arguably matter most, Trump’s comments struck home even among those who had become numb to his shock-jock routine. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Putin or the Democrats? For some today it's not so easy," 19 July 2018

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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Learn More about numb

Dictionary Entries near numb

nul tort

Num

num

numb

numbat

number

number agreement

Statistics for numb

Last Updated

27 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for numb

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

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More Definitions for numb

numb

adjective

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

numb

adjective
\ 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.

numb

adjective
\ 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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More from Merriam-Webster on numb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with numb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for numb

Spanish Central: Translation of numb

Nglish: Translation of numb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of numb for Arabic Speakers

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