Intermediate+ Word of the Day: daze

daze (verb, noun) /deɪz/ LISTEN

To daze means ‘to stun or stupefy,’ especially with a blow or a shock. It also means ‘to overwhelm’ or ‘to dazzle,’ either in a negative or a positive way. The noun daze, often used in the expression “in a daze,” is the state of being dazed.

Example sentences

  • The boxer's punch dazed his opponent.
  • With sleep still dazing her senses, Lindsay answered the phone.
  • Survivors of the disaster were dazed by the terrible things they had seen.
  • The tourists were dazed by the beauty of the landscape.
  • After the crash, the driver was in a daze.

In pop culture

You can watch and listen to Led Zeppelin performing their song “Dazed and Confused” here:

Did you know?

The similar word haze is a collection of particles in the atmosphere that makes things appear indistinct. By extension, the word is also used to refer to a confused and indistinct mental state. However, haze differs slightly from daze in that it does not have specific connotations of having received a blow or shock.

Other forms

dazed (adjective)

Origin

Daze dates back to the late 13th or early 14th century. The late Middle English verb dasen most likely came from the Old Norse dasa (usually found with suffixes, such as dasask, ‘to become weary’), though some linguists also propose the Middle Dutch dasen (to act silly) as the origin. It is thought that the original meaning was ‘to become wearly with cold,’ which is the sense of the related Icelandic dasask. The meaning soon expanded, and eventually came to imply a blow or shock as a cause for the condition by the late 18th century. The noun, meaning ‘a dazed condition,’ comes from the verb and dates back to the early 19th century.

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