Word of the Day: numb


Word of the Day by WordReference.com

 
 
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Word Reference
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Word of the Day
 
October 16, 2015
 
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numb (adjective, verb) sound LISTEN icon
 
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Numb is an adjective that has two meanings: unable to feel physical sensations, and without emotion. It is also a verb that means to remove the ability to feel sensation, either physically or emotionally.
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Example sentences
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After Jane got anesthesia at the dentist's office, her lips were numb.
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Max was numb after receiving the news of his father's sudden death.
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The anesthetic cream numbed Arthur's finger.
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The shock numbed Rebecca's emotions.
 
Similar expressions
 
You know that feeling when your leg goes numb, often because you don't move it for a while? In English we say that a body part "is asleep" or "fell asleep." The sensation can also be called "pins and needles." For example, "When I sit on the floor for too long, sometimes my foot falls asleep." Or, "When I feel pins and needles in my leg, I try to stand up and walk around until the sensation goes away."
 
Compound forms
 
be numb to sth: not be affected by something. Example: "There's no point in making fun of me. I'm numb to your insults!"
Other forms
 
numbness (noun); numbly (adverb)
 
 
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Learn more about numb in our forums
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Did you know?
 
Some of the earliest ways doctors numbed patients included using alcohol, opium, and ether. Other methods included magnets and hypnosis.
 
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Origin
 
From the late Middle English word "nome" meaning "taken" or "seized." It first appeared between 1400 and 1450.
 
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In other languages
 
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