variants also dumfound

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb dumbfound differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of dumbfound are bewilder, confound, distract, nonplus, perplex, and puzzle. While all these words mean "to baffle and disturb mentally," dumbfound suggests intense but momentary confounding; often the idea of astonishment is so stressed that it becomes a near synonym of astound.

was at first too dumbfounded to reply

In what contexts can bewilder take the place of dumbfound?

In some situations, the words bewilder and dumbfound are roughly equivalent. However, bewilder stresses a confusion of mind that hampers clear and decisive thinking.

a bewildering number of possibilities

When is it sensible to use confound instead of dumbfound?

While the synonyms confound and dumbfound are close in meaning, confound implies temporary mental paralysis caused by astonishment or profound abasement.

the tragic news confounded us all

When would distract be a good substitute for dumbfound?

The meanings of distract and dumbfound largely overlap; however, distract implies agitation or uncertainty induced by conflicting preoccupations or interests.

distracted by personal problems

When could nonplus be used to replace dumbfound?

The words nonplus and dumbfound are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, nonplus implies a bafflement that makes orderly planning or deciding impossible.

the remark left us utterly nonplussed

Where would perplex be a reasonable alternative to dumbfound?

Although the words perplex and dumbfound have much in common, perplex adds a suggestion of worry and uncertainty especially about making a necessary decision.

a behavior that perplexed her friends

When might puzzle be a better fit than dumbfound?

The synonyms puzzle and dumbfound are sometimes interchangeable, but puzzle implies existence of a problem difficult to solve.

the persistent fever puzzled the doctor

Thesaurus Entries Near dumbfound

Cite this Entry

“Dumbfound.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dumbfound. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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