Also found in: Thesaurus.


tr.v. non·plussed, non·plus·sing, non·plus·ses also non·plused or non·plus·ing or non·plus·es
1. To put at a loss as to what to think, say, or do; bewilder.
2. Usage Problem To cause to feel indifferent or bored.
A state of bewilderment or perplexity.

[From Latin nōn plūs, no more : nōn, not; see non- + plūs, more; see pelə- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: The verb nonplus, from the Latin phrase nōn plūs, "not more," is well established with the meaning "to surprise and bewilder." The verb and its participial adjective nonplussed often imply that the affected person is at a loss for words. This use of the word was acceptable to 90 percent of the Usage Panel in our 2013 survey in the sentence The scientists were completely nonplussed—the apparatus had not acted at all as they had expected. However, the word is frequently used to mean "to make indifferent, bore," as if the plus part of the word meant "to overcome with excitement." This usage is still controversial and should probably be avoided, since it may well be viewed as a mistake. In our 2013 survey, 57 percent of the Panel rejected the sentence The nine panelists showed little emotion during the broadcast and were generally nonplussed by the outcome. This percentage is almost unchanged from the 61 percent of the Panel who rejected the same sentence in 2001.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.nonplused - filled with bewildermentnonplused - filled with bewilderment; "at a loss to understand those remarks"; "puzzled that she left without saying goodbye"
perplexed - full of difficulty or confusion or bewilderment; "perplexed language"; "perplexed state of the world"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Arobin appeared nonplused, and asked Edna if there were any one else she cared to ask.
I was nonplused, and then, for the first time, there crept over me an intuition of the truth.
The youth stood there with the coin in his fingers, nonplused and bewildered; of course he had not understood a word.