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numb

[nuhm] /nʌm/
adjective, number, numbest.
1.
deprived of physical sensation or the ability to move:
fingers numb with cold.
2.
manifesting or resembling numbness:
a numb sensation.
3.
incapable of action or of feeling emotion; enervated; prostrate:
numb with grief.
4.
lacking or deficient in emotion or feeling; indifferent:
She was numb to their pleas for mercy.
verb (used with object)
5.
to make numb.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English nome literally, taken, seized, variant of nomen, numen, Old English numen, past participle of niman to take, nim1
Related forms
numbly, adverb
numbness, noun
half-numb, adjective
unnumbed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for numbly
  • We wonder what he witnessed that is causing him to stare numbly into space.
  • Reaching the foot of the mountain, they numbly tied their skis to the horses and mounted.
  • As the dust dissipates, bystanders stand numbly staring at the empty space where the towers had been.
British Dictionary definitions for numbly

numb

/nʌm/
adjective
1.
deprived of feeling through cold, shock, etc
2.
unable to move; paralysed
3.
characteristic of or resembling numbness: a numb sensation
verb (transitive)
4.
to make numb; deaden, shock, or paralyse
Derived Forms
numbly, adverb
numbness, noun
Word Origin
C15: nomen, literally: taken (with paralysis), from Old English niman to take; related to Old Norse nema, Old High German niman
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 numbly

numb

adj.

c.1400, nome, "deprived of motion or feeling," literally "taken, seized," from past participle of nimen "to take, seize," from Old English niman "to take, catch, grasp" (see nimble). The extraneous -b (to conform to comb, limb, etc.) appeared 17c. The notion is of being "taken" with palsy, shock, and especially cold. Figurative use from 1560s.

v.

1550s, from numb (adj.). Related: Numbed; numbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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numbly in Medicine

numb (nŭm)
adj.

  1. Being unable or only partially able to feel sensation or pain; deadened or anesthetized.

  2. Being emotionally unresponsive; indifferent.

v. numbed, numb·ing, numbs
To make or become numb.
numb'ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for numbly

numb

adjective

Stupid; unresponsive (1950s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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13
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