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 abounded the border post.
Iran Says It’s Under Attack by ISIS Jassem Al Salami October 8, 2014

The reaction to the clip is a mix of alarm and astonishment.
Amanda Bynes’s Strange Selfie Video: Is She ‘Trolling’? Kevin Fallon April 15, 2013

So you can imagine my astonishment at the reception that The Kite Runner has received since its publication in 2003.
Khaled Hosseini: How I Write Noah Charney November 6, 2012

To the astonishment of his doctors, Gage survived—but he “was no longer Gage,” as one of his friends famously noted.
Gabrielle Giffords Condition: Can Her Brain Heal? Casey Schwartz January 9, 2011

Historical Examples

“The girl amazes me,” said Schneider, with a look of astonishment.
The Paris Sketch Book of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh William Makepeace Thackeray

Emma appeared in the doorway, her eyebrows elevated in astonishment.
Grace Harlowe’s Return to Overton Campus Jessie Graham Flower

Victoria, when she got over her astonishment at this, reflected quickly.
Mr. Crewe’s Career, Complete Winston Churchill

And to his astonishment there was none of the shocking effect of his first drink of whisky.
Way of the Lawless Max Brand

He had the tact now to conceal his astonishment at the manner of his friend’s speech.
The Pillar of Light Louis Tracy

extreme surprise; amazement
a cause of amazement

1590s; see astonish + -ment. Earlier it meant “paralysis” (1570s).


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