nonplus(redirected from nonplusses)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.
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.
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.
vb, -plusses, -plussing or -plussed, -pluses, -plusing or -plused
(tr) to put at a loss; confound: he was nonplussed by the sudden announcement.
n, pl -pluses
a state of utter perplexity prohibiting action or speech
[C16: from Latin nōn plūs no further (that is, nothing further can be said or done)]
non•plus(nɒnˈplʌs, ˈnɒn plʌs)
v. -plussed -plused, -plus•sing -plus•ing, v.t.
1. to render utterly perplexed; puzzle completely.n.
2. a state of utter perplexity.
[1575–85; (n.) < Latin nōn plūs literally, not more, no further, i.e., a state in which nothing more can be done]
Past participle: nonplussed
Switch to new thesaurus
|Verb||1.||nonplus - be a mystery or bewildering to; "This beats me!"; "Got me--I don't know the answer!"; "a vexing problem"; "This question really stuck me"|
bewilder, dumbfound, flummox, baffle, mystify, perplex, puzzle, stupefy, amaze, gravel, vex, pose, stick, beat, get
befuddle, confound, confuse, discombobulate, fox, bedevil, fuddle, throw - be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly; "These questions confuse even the experts"; "This question completely threw me"; "This question befuddled even the teacher"
riddle - set a difficult problem or riddle; "riddle me a riddle"