numb·​ing ˈnə-miŋ How to pronounce numbing (audio)
: tending or serving to make numb or spiritless
losing by a numbing margin
a numbing lecture
numbingly adverb

Examples of numbing in a Sentence

an utterly numbing class in statistics the numbing air of that wintry morning
Recent Examples on the Web Some critics and documentary filmmakers say that mandate is reductive and numbing. Michael Powell, New York Times, 25 Sep. 2022 Aside from being scientifically fascinating, the special effect of these peppercorns is also a key component of Sichuan cuisine’s greatest gift to the culinary world, a numbing and spicy flavor profile known as málà. Chala Tyson Tshitundu, Bon Appétit, 29 Sep. 2021 Come winter, wide open spaces in Iowa are more numbing than even a hardy Minnesotan wants to experience. Jon Bream, Star Tribune, 5 Feb. 2021 What’s most powerful in lending Mr. Toor’s paintings their emotive combination of fleeting, gossamer happiness and a semi-numbing societal oppression is his palette. Peter Plagens, WSJ, 19 Dec. 2020 While traditional malatang broth is made from bone broth and is spicy and numbing, several places also offer vegetarian broths and non-spicy broths. Momo Chang,, 26 June 2020 Because watching people die in Alabama’s execution chamber is numbing, over time. John Archibald |, al, 5 Mar. 2020 Case and death numbers remain stuck on a numbing, tragic plateau that is tilting only slightly downward., 4 May 2020 But when possible, some plastic surgeons are finding alternatives and using anti-inflammatories, local anesthetics, and numbing medications to attack different pain pathways. Cotton Codinha, Allure, 6 Nov. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'numbing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from present participle of numb entry 2

First Known Use

1581, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of numbing was in 1581

Dictionary Entries Near numbing

Cite this Entry

“Numbing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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