\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

Venezuelans’ misery has at least boosted business at foreign printers, who seem stunned by the windfall. The Economist, "Venezuelan cash is almost worthless, but also scarce," 12 July 2018 But when Mandzukic stunned England for a second time, there was no way back. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "Croatia Stuns England in Extra Time to Advance to World Cup Final," 11 July 2018 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – stunned the New York Democratic establishment, and the nation, with her primary victory last month over 10-term Rep. Joe Crowley (D). Steve Leblanc, The Christian Science Monitor, "After New York's electoral upset, eyes turn to Massachusetts," 9 July 2018 Their stories, filmed over 18 months, tell of crime, histories of addiction, joblessness and the struggle for recovery in a part of the country that is as stunning in its beauty as is in its despair. Jeffrey Fleishman,, "Documentary films explore the despair of America's heroin and opioid epidemic," 6 July 2018 Two other rescued Kemp’s ridleys rescued during the same cold stunning were released back into the wild after making a full recovery, Manjarris said. Alex Park, Houston Chronicle, "Critically endangered sea turtle species now at Texas State Aquarium," 5 July 2018 Those bright reds, stunning whites, and vibrant blues are generated by a variety of different chemical techniques, all of which use some kind of metal. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "O say can you see? The science behind the booms and blooms of Independence Day fireworks," 3 July 2018 Ridley Scott's cinematographer Dariusz Wolski was your director of photography on this film, and the photography the two of you achieved is stunning yet distinct from Sicario. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' Director Didn't Consult with Denis Villeneuve on the Sequel," 27 June 2018 Mexico’s stunning upset win over Germany in the World Cup on Sunday may have shocked more than soccer fans. Chas Danner, Daily Intelligencer, "Mexico’s World Cup Goal Caused Man-Made Earthquake," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Previously: LouCity FC stuns New England Revolution in U.S. Open Cup Both teams threatened multiple times in the closing minutes. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville City FC beats Nashville, advances to US Open Cup quarterfinal," 20 June 2018 Police used stun grenades and tear gas to prevent them from entering the building. NBC News, "Greek prime minister survives no-confidence vote in parliament," 16 June 2018 The stun grenades detonate, producing a concussive blast of 180 decibels. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s Concussive Collaboration," 3 June 2018 In 2014, a supervisor at the House of Correction was suspended after delivering a drive stun with a Taser to the left wrist of a mentally ill 22-year-old woman, who was alone inside a segregation cell at the time. Gina Barton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Police Tasers: How do they work? What are the risks?," 23 May 2018 Notre Dame buzzer-beater stuns Mississippi State in NCAA women's title game. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump signals potential end to DACA deal; Deadly SUV cliff crash intentional?," 2 Apr. 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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Dictionary Entries near stun

stump work







Statistics for stun

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

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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Comments on stun

What made you want to look up stun? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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