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Also found in: Thesaurus.
Related to benumbing: anaesthetized, put under


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 ?
The sleet-and-hail squalls following the lightning at the end of a westerly gale are cold and benumbing and stinging and cruel enough.
He was indeed the person chiefly responsible for the chill benumbing all the guests before Stepan Arkadyevitch came in.
The second day he took refuge from benumbing unbelief, by getting into his loom and working away as usual; and before many hours were past, the minister and one of the deacons came to him with the message from Sarah, that she held her engagement to him at an end.
It would appear that the felons invading the female hostels apparently see them as soft targets, and it is benumbing if not tragic that a message of insecurity and helplessness was conveyed to hapless students whose parents put them under the care of the school management.
A key objective of unpleasant news items is to incite the viewers into finding solutions, but in doing so there is also need to walk clear of benumbing or demoralising the agents of change, the people themselves.
Given that this is not happening for the first time the names given here to corroborate this fact are just a few among many sidelined by the mainstream urge the benumbing noise is a wee bit difficult to digest.
The impersonality of the novel's narration is part of that pattern, foregrounding both the operations of this anti-sentimental discourse and its benumbing consequences.
Why are we administered benumbing shots with 60 rules changed within 50 days and 150 people dead?
Stewart attained stardom by way of the listless and even benumbing 'Twilight' films, where she came up with 'appropriately' dull and sluggish performances that were big turnoffs for us.
The very etymology of the word "narcotic"--from the Greek word "narkoticos," "benumbing or deadening" (Hanson et al.
When I attacked them, I felt a dull resistance, a sense of benumbed and benumbing stupor stealing like a fog over my intellect.
The way heavy rains wreaked havoc in the state earlier this year was so benumbing, life has still not returned to normalcy.