Astonish



to fill with sudden and overpowering surprise or wonder; amaze:
Her easy humor and keen intellect astonished me.
Contemporary Examples

To question that which seems to have ceased forever to astonish us.
To Dream a Dream: Georges Perec’s Night Visions Lauren Elkin December 25, 2013

They frighten a few people (mostly each other), are rude to bystanders and astonish a cleaning lady.
P.J. O’Rourke Picks His Favorite Travel Books P. J. O’Rourke November 11, 2011

It may astonish readers to know, then, that it was Jews that invented our idea of heaven.
How Jews Invented Heaven Lisa Miller March 27, 2010

His book should astonish both liberals and conservatives—and for very different reasons.
George Bush’s Book Will Offend the Right Matt Latimer November 9, 2010

Historical Examples

The Germans know, and that is the card with which they are going to astonish the world.’
Greenmantle John Buchan

But this does not astonish us when we understand the difficulties which he was obliged to solve.
Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon

So I sing like a bateau full of voyageurs, and the dark echo, and that vild-cat must be astonish.
The Skeleton On Round Island Mary Hartwell Catherwood

But after what he had heard nothing could astonish him any more.
The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad

Perhaps the musical genius which his father will not bring before the world in himself may one day astonish that world in Sigmund.
The First Violin Jessie Fothergill

There is another manifestation of his power which will astonish those who consider it.
A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald

verb
(transitive) to fill with amazement; surprise greatly
v.

c.1300, astonien, from Old French estoner “to stun, daze, deafen, astound,” from Vulgar Latin *extonare, from Latin ex- “out” + tonare “to thunder” (see thunder); so, literally “to leave someone thunderstruck.” The modern form (influenced by English verbs in -ish, e.g. distinguish, diminish) is attested from c.1530.

No wonder is thogh that she were astoned [Chaucer, “Clerk’s Tale”]

Related: Astonished; astonishing; astonishingly.

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    to fill with sudden and overpowering surprise or wonder; amaze: Her easy humor and keen intellect astonished me. Contemporary Examples Nevertheless, I am astonished at the percentage of people who find the Kimmel videos morally unproblematic. Why Jimmy Kimmel’s Lies Matter Sam Harris November 18, 2013 I was astonished by his work and very grateful […]

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    causing or surprise; amazing: an astonishing victory; an astonishing remark. to fill with sudden and overpowering surprise or wonder; amaze: Her easy humor and keen intellect astonished me. Contemporary Examples Watson gets everything wrong and Holmes is then able to wow his friend with astonishing inferences. The Essential Sherlock Holmes: Michael Dirda’s Recommendations The Browser […]



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    causing or surprise; amazing: an astonishing victory; an astonishing remark. Contemporary Examples Israelis are astonishingly unified in defense of their country’s flotilla interception. Bibi’s Unlikely New Fan Club Ethan Perlson June 4, 2010 She is smiling as he raises the baby above his head; the child is astonishingly calm. Joe Walsh Vs. Tammy Duckworth: Yelps, […]

  • Astonishment

    overpowering wonder or surprise; amazement: He looked with astonishment at his friends. an object or cause of amazement. Contemporary Examples In his book, Aboul Gheit notes with astonishment the attitude of Mubarak himself. Inside Hosni Mubarak’s Last Days Vivian Salama February 20, 2013 To his astonishment, the driver found the gate open; guards already had […]



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