Also found in: Thesaurus.


tr.v. be·numbed, be·numb·ing, be·numbs
1. To make numb, especially by cold.
2. To render senseless or inactive, as from shock or boredom: The dull skit benumbed the audience.

[Middle English binomen, from past participle of binimen, to take away, from Old English beniman : be-, away; see be- + niman, to take; see numb.]

be·numb′ment n.


vb (tr)
1. to make numb or powerless; deaden physical feeling in, as by cold
2. (usually passive) to make inactive; stupefy (the mind, senses, will, etc)
beˈnumbingly adv



1. to make numb; deprive of sensation: benumbed by cold.
2. to render inactive; stupefy.
[1350–1400; back formation from Middle English benomen, past participle of benimen to take away, Old English beniman; see be-, numb]
be•numb′ing•ly, adv.


Past participle: benumbed
Gerund: benumbing

I benumb
you benumb
he/she/it benumbs
we benumb
you benumb
they benumb
I benumbed
you benumbed
he/she/it benumbed
we benumbed
you benumbed
they benumbed
Present Continuous
I am benumbing
you are benumbing
he/she/it is benumbing
we are benumbing
you are benumbing
they are benumbing
Present Perfect
I have benumbed
you have benumbed
he/she/it has benumbed
we have benumbed
you have benumbed
they have benumbed
Past Continuous
I was benumbing
you were benumbing
he/she/it was benumbing
we were benumbing
you were benumbing
they were benumbing
Past Perfect
I had benumbed
you had benumbed
he/she/it had benumbed
we had benumbed
you had benumbed
they had benumbed
I will benumb
you will benumb
he/she/it will benumb
we will benumb
you will benumb
they will benumb
Future Perfect
I will have benumbed
you will have benumbed
he/she/it will have benumbed
we will have benumbed
you will have benumbed
they will have benumbed
Future Continuous
I will be benumbing
you will be benumbing
he/she/it will be benumbing
we will be benumbing
you will be benumbing
they will be benumbing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been benumbing
you have been benumbing
he/she/it has been benumbing
we have been benumbing
you have been benumbing
they have been benumbing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been benumbing
you will have been benumbing
he/she/it will have been benumbing
we will have been benumbing
you will have been benumbing
they will have been benumbing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been benumbing
you had been benumbing
he/she/it had been benumbing
we had been benumbing
you had been benumbing
they had been benumbing
I would benumb
you would benumb
he/she/it would benumb
we would benumb
you would benumb
they would benumb
Past Conditional
I would have benumbed
you would have benumbed
he/she/it would have benumbed
we would have benumbed
you would have benumbed
they would have benumbed
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.benumb - make numb or insensitive; "The shock numbed her senses"
desensitise, desensitize - cause not to be sensitive; "The war desensitized many soldiers"; "The photographic plate was desensitized"


1. To render less sensitive:
2. To dull the senses, as with a heavy blow, a shock, or fatigue:
Chiefly Regional: maze.
3. To render helpless, as by emotion:


[bɪˈnʌm] VT (with cold) → entumecer; (= frighten, shock) → paralizar


limbgefühllos machen; personbetäuben; (with cold also) → erstarren lassen; he was/his fingers were benumbed with colder war/seine Finger waren starr vor Kälte
(fig) mindbetäuben; (panic, experience etc)lähmen; benumbed by alcoholvom Alkohol benommen
References in classic literature ?
There he sat quite benumbed and motionless; one would have imagined he was frozen to death.
In the snowy wastes near the summit they came upon five bodies, lying upon their sides in a reposeful attitude which suggested that possibly they had fallen asleep there, while exhausted with fatigue and hunger and benumbed with cold, and never knew when death stole upon them.
And now once more lieth the lead of his guilt upon him, and once more is his weak reason so benumbed, so paralysed, and so dull.
Ah, my arms are really benumbed. I have been pressing my elbows on the arms of my chair, and dreaming that I was standing on the bridge in front of Dorlcote Mill, as it looked one February afternoon many years ago.
He heard no sound, for his normal faculties seemed benumbed.
They were so chilled and benumbed by the cold, however, that they lost all heart, and absolutely refused.
"Can something bad have happened to me?" he wondered as he got up: and at that moment he felt that something superfluous was hanging on his benumbed left arm.
But this needed some apology--with a feeble attempt at a laugh, I said, 'My hands are so benumbed with the cold that I can scarcely handle my knife and fork.'
When she at length started for home, she was benumbed with cold, and could hardly make her way against the wind that buffeted the frost-bitten rose most unmercifully.
I ordered it to be repaired, bought some furniture, and took possession, an incident which would doubtless have occasioned some surprise had not all the senses of the cottagers been benumbed by want and squalid poverty.
After I have heard you myself, when the whole of my right side has been benumbed, going on with your master about combustion, and calcination, and calorification, and I may say every kind of ation that could drive a poor invalid distracted, to hear you talking in this absurd way about sparks and ashes!
I am quite benumbed; for the Notch is just like the pipe of a great pair of bellows; it has blown a terrible blast in my face all the way from Bartlett."