Synonym Chooser

How does the verb astonish contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of astonish are amaze, astound, flabbergast, and surprise. While all these words mean "to impress forcibly through unexpectedness," astonish implies surprising so greatly as to seem incredible.

a discovery that astonished the world

When is amaze a more appropriate choice than astonish?

While the synonyms amaze and astonish are close in meaning, amaze suggests an effect of bewilderment.

amazed by the immense size of the place

When is it sensible to use astound instead of astonish?

While in some cases nearly identical to astonish, astound stresses the shock of astonishment.

too astounded to respond

Where would flabbergast be a reasonable alternative to astonish?

In some situations, the words flabbergast and astonish are roughly equivalent. However, flabbergast may suggest thorough astonishment and bewilderment or dismay.

flabbergasted by his angry refusal

In what contexts can surprise take the place of astonish?

The meanings of surprise and astonish largely overlap; however, surprise stresses causing an effect through being unexpected but not necessarily unusual or novel.

surprised to find them at home

Thesaurus Entries Near astonish

Cite this Entry

“Astonish.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on astonish

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!