\ ˈstən \
stunned; stunning

Definition of stun 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make senseless, groggy, or dizzy by or as if by a blow : daze
2 : to shock with noise
3 : to overcome especially with paralyzing astonishment or disbelief



Definition of stun (Entry 2 of 2)

: the effect of something that stuns : shock

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Synonyms for stun

Synonyms: Verb

daze, rock

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Examples of stun in a Sentence


The angry criticism stunned them. His old friends were stunned at his success. She sat in stunned disbelief. There was a stunned expression on her face. weapons that can stun people temporarily
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Paper Maps Are Accurate I’m stunned by satellite views of roadways and rural areas. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "6 Reasons You Should Always Have a Paper Map," 19 Nov. 2018 But bra or not, Alex stunned in her silver gown last night and went home a winner in her category ... which is way more important and not awkward at all. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "7 Super Awkward Moments From the 2018 Emmys You Definitely Missed," 18 Sep. 2018 This weekend, Jay-Z and Beyoncé (queen of the surprise album) stunned us all once again with the nine-song, joint album Everything is Love, on Tidal—though the album has already made its way to iTunes and Spotify. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Inside the Louvre with Beyoncé and Jay-Z," 18 June 2018 Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter Mauler’s departure could stun shareholders who only welcomed him to the company in February. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "GameStop CEO Michael Mauler Resigns for 'Personal Reasons'," 11 May 2018 Lissing’s character Jack Thornton was killed off earlier this year, stunning the show’s dedicated fanbase—but there’s no behind-the-scenes drama here. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "Who Is Daniel Lissing? Meet the Star of Hallmark’s New Movie ‘Christmas In Love’," 11 Nov. 2018 Five days after Bloomberg stunned the world with still-unconfirmed allegations that Chinese spies embedded data-sniffing chips in hardware used by Apple, Amazon, and dozens of other companies, the news organization is doubling down. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Bloomberg report says backdoored Supermicro hardware infiltrated major US telecom," 9 Oct. 2018 Agents didn’t sweep into DNC headquarters, load up all the equipment and leave Democrats standing stunned beside empty desks and dangling cables. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Every sentence of Trump’s tweet accusing Democrats of “collusion” with Russia is a lie," 15 Nov. 2018 Continuing their first royal tour as a couple, Meghan and Harry were warmly welcomed into Fiji, with the Duchess stunning the crowd by wearing a gorgeous, pearl white Zimmermann dress. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Toasts with Water, While Prince Harry Samples 'Narcotic' Delicacy Kava," 23 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Being Mary Jane Gabrielle Union stuns as high-powered TV anchor Mary Jane Paul. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "15 Netflix Shows With the Hottest Sex Scenes You Need to Watch," 21 Dec. 2018 At one point, an NYPD officer stands up and points a stun-gun at onlookers, the video shows. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "Judge Orders Release of Mother Whose Infant Son Was Grabbed by Officers," 11 Dec. 2018 Chopra stuns in a number of looks including Oscar de la Renta, Alexander McQueen, and Balenciaga. Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra Vogue Cover Photographed by Annie Leibovitz," 1 Dec. 2018 In this month’s cover slideshow, the Houston native stuns in Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and Gucci. Tyler Mitchell, Vogue, "See Beyoncé’s September Issue, Photographed by Tyler Mitchell," 6 Aug. 2018 The Indiana State Department of Health also said permethrin, an insecticide that stuns or kills insects that come into contact with it, can be applied to clothing, mosquito nets or tent surfaces, but should not be applied to skin. Dwight Adams, Indianapolis Star, "Diseases from mosquito and tick bites are on rise in U.S. Here's what you can do about it.," 1 May 2018 African-Americans were the subject of 80% of all police firearm uses and 81% of all Taser contact-stun uses between January 2011 and April 2016. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Jury: Chicago cop acted 'reasonably' in fatally shooting teen Quintonio LeGrier," 27 June 2018 Photo of fiery bubble that stretches 65 feet in the air stuns the Internet. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Facebook's privacy scandal larger than originally thought; Trump orders National Guard to border," 5 Apr. 2018 At 88 years old, Hedren, who's mother to Melanie Griffith and grandmother to Dakota Johnson, stuns in the new ads for Gucci jewelry and timepieces. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Tippi Hedren Lands A Gucci Campaign At 88 Years Old," 15 May 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1727, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stun


Middle English stonen, stunen, from Anglo-French estoner — more at astonish

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Learn More about stun

Dictionary Entries near stun

stump work







Statistics for stun

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stun

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

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More Definitions for stun



English Language Learners Definition of stun

: to surprise or upset (someone) very much

: to cause (someone) to suddenly become very confused, very dizzy, or unconscious


\ ˈstən \
stunned; stunning

Kids Definition of stun

1 : to make dizzy or senseless by or as if by a blow The bird laid stunned after crashing into the window.
2 : to affect with shock or confusion : fill with disbelief He was stunned by the news.
\ ˈstən \
stunned; stunning

Medical Definition of stun 

: to make senseless, groggy, or dizzy by or as if by a blow

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More from Merriam-Webster on stun

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stun

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stun

Spanish Central: Translation of stun

Nglish: Translation of stun for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stun for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stun

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involving abstract or general statements

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