- causing numbness or insensibility; stupefying: the numbing effects of grief; a story repeated with numbing regularity.
adjective, numb·er, numb·est.
- deprived of physical sensation or the ability to move: fingers numb with cold.
- manifesting or resembling numbness: a numb sensation.
- incapable of action or of feeling emotion; enervated; prostrate: numb with grief.
- lacking or deficient in emotion or feeling; indifferent: She was numb to their pleas for mercy.
verb (used with object)
- to make numb.
- deprived of feeling through cold, shock, etc
- unable to move; paralysed
- characteristic of or resembling numbnessa numb sensation
- to make numb; deaden, shock, or paralyse
1550s, from numb (adj.). Related: Numbed; numbing.
c.1400, nome, “deprived of motion or feeling,” literally “taken, seized,” from past participle of nimen “to take, seize,” from Old English niman “to take, catch, grasp” (see nimble). The extraneous -b (to conform to comb, limb, etc.) appeared 17c. The notion is of being “taken” with palsy, shock, and especially cold. Figurative use from 1560s.
- Being unable or only partially able to feel sensation or pain; deadened or anesthetized.
- Being emotionally unresponsive; indifferent.
- To make or become numb.