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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 numbness
  • My feet have lost all feeling and the tips of my fingers are following them into numbness.
  • People who eat the meat have reported temporary problems such as numbness in the mouth, skin rashes, and stomach aches.
  • Remember, it generally starts with a numbness on the left arm.
  • Here are the symptoms: pain or numbness in the hand-especially the pinky and ring fingers.
  • numbness or pain in the other limbs and sluggish digestion are also common.
  • If the spinal cord were compressed enough to cause total body numbness, there should be arm or leg weakness too.
  • His eardrum would heal, and his rash and numbness would probably fade away.
  • As the voltage increased, the stimulation had caused numbness in her mouth and throat, with obvious effects on her speech.
  • These headaches come with a sort of numbness, and now she notices some other things that aren't as they should be.
  • The ecstatic highs that writing gave him were followed by precipitous drops into terrifying numbness.
British Dictionary definitions for numbness

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 numbness
n.

1570s, from numb (adj.) + -ness.

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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numbness 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 numbness

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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