to make numb; deprive of sensation:
benumbed by cold.
to render inactive; deaden or stupefy.
historical examples

the effect of this announcement was to benumb his faculties.
great african travellers w.h.g. kingston

he was strangely reticent; my news seemed to benumb and sicken him.
the cavalier george washington cable

he still drinks; not now for pleasure and in luxury, but to benumb the gnawing of an aroused conscience.
the seven curses of london james greenwood

how intense must have been the suffering that could so benumb the heart!
the allen house t. s. arthur

at her words he gradually shook off the lethargy which seemed to benumb his senses.
the hill of venus nathan gallizier

but in poverty there is also a tendency to intimidate, to enfeeble, to benumb.
speeches, addresses, and occasional sermons, volume 1 (of 3) theodore parker

what a mult-tude of impressions were stored in her sensitive mind, impressions which, for the moment, seemed to benumb her!
the last shot frederick palmer

it was during this period that adah met with one of those sorrows which benumb the sensitive feminine heart.
the house eugene field

a great horror seemed to come upon him and benumb his body and his senses.
frank merriwell down south burt l. standish

this blow will paralyze and benumb the muscles and nerves employed by the animal to distribute its obnoxious fluid.
fur farming for profit hermon basil laymon

verb (transitive)
to make numb or powerless; deaden physical feeling in, as by cold
(usually p-ssive) to make inactive; stupefy (the mind, senses, will, etc)

late 15c., from be- + numb. originally of mental states; of the physical body from 1520s. related: benumbed; benumbing.

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