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[stuhn] /stʌn/
verb (used with object), stunned, stunning.
to deprive of consciousness or strength by or as if by a blow, fall, etc.:
The blow to his jaw stunned him for a moment.
to astonish; astound; amaze:
Her wit stunned the audience.
to shock; overwhelm:
The world was stunned by the attempted assassination.
to daze or bewilder by noise.
the act of stunning.
the condition of being stunned.
Origin of stun
1250-1300; Middle English stonen, stunen (v.) < Old French estoner to shake, make resound; see astonish
Related forms
unstunned, adjective
2, 3. See shock1 . 4. stupefy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for stun
  • Film footage showed the huge, deep-sea squid use its glowing arms to blind and stun its prey.
  • They swat or bat their bills from side to side in order to stun their prey, feeding on the fish until they're all gone.
  • Jellyfish have tiny stinging cells in their tentacles to stun or paralyze their prey before they eat them.
  • These crustaceans can close their giant claws so violently that they snap shut with a deafening sound used to stun prey.
  • Many poor fishermen add to reef destruction by using cyanide to stun and capture live fish for the aquarium trade.
  • On other reefs around the world, collecting is more aggressive: fishermen use cyanide to stun fish, making them easy to scoop up.
  • Winter-white petals stun with their geometric shape.
  • And herds of howling wolves that stun the sailors' ears.
  • But the military has only used the stun guns sparingly in the field.
  • While this is going on, bad guys flying around the level can stun you.
British Dictionary definitions for stun


verb (transitive) stuns, stunning, stunned
to render unconscious, as by a heavy blow or fall
to shock or overwhelm
to surprise or astound
the state or effect of being stunned
Word Origin
C13 stunen, from Old French estoner to daze, stupefy, from Vulgar Latin extonāre (unattested), from Latin ex-1 + tonāre to thunder
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for stun

c.1300, "to daze or render unconscious" (from a blow, powerful emotion, etc.), probably a shortening of Old French estoner "to stun" (see astonish). Stunning popularized for "splendid, excellent" c.1849.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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