daze


daze
daze vb Daze, stun, bemuse, stupefy, benumb, paralyze, petrify all mean to dull or deaden the powers of the mind through some disturbing experience or influence.
Daze may imply any of numerous causes (as a blow on the head, an excess of light, or a physical or mental shock) which prostrates one's powers and leaves one confused or bewildered or dazzled
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till I felt I could end myself too with the dagger—so deafened and dazed— . . . with the grief that gnawed at my heart— Tennyson

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the cattle gather and blare, roused by the feet of running men, dazed by the lantern glare— Kipling

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Stun usually suggests a sudden deprivation of one's powers of thought or a loss of consciousness as a result of a heavy blow or a violent fall, but it is also used in an extended and often hyperbolic sense to describe the devastating effect of noise, surprise, or astonishment
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stunned his assailant with the butt of his rifle

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stunned by the news of his son's drowning

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where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around, and Niagara stuns with thundering sound— Goldsmith

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ye little children, stun your grandame's ears with pleasure of your noise!— Wordsworth

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or has the shock . . . confused . . . and stunned me from my power to think— Tennyson

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Bemuse implies an addling or muddling of the mind whether through intoxication or through employment, preoccupation, or engrossment that dulls or abstracts the mind
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a Prussian was regarded in England as a dull beer-bemused creature—M'Carthy

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his senses so bemused in the intensity of calculation— Scott

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people with brains and intelligence . . . play cards until they are bemused and stupid— McClure's Mag.

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Stupefy heightens the implication of stupor or stupidity by weakening not only the implication of shock or surprise but that of overwork or fatigue; it therefore usually implies something (as an injury, an illness, a grief or anxiety long-continued, or intoxication) that dulls both the senses and the mind
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sun elated them; quiet rain sobered them, weeks of watery tempest stupefied them— Hardy

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Benumb is used chiefly of the effect of cold in deadening or immobilizing the muscles, but it is used also of anything that becomes so inert that it seems as if frozen
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it is so cold, so dark, my senses are so benumbedDickens

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Mrs. Ralston drew back a step or two. Charlotte's cold resolution benumbed her courage, and she could find no immediate reply— Wharton

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Paralyze is often used figuratively to imply an inability to act or to function, on the part of a thing as well as of a person, that comes as the result of a dire event, a burden too heavy to be borne, or an astounding disclosure
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in these wild places ... a snowstorm . . . does not . . . paralyze traffic as London permits itself to be paralyzed under similar circumstances— Jefferies

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a certain helplessness in the presence of what is unfamiliar that fairly paralyzes even Gallic curiosity— Brownell

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Petrify (see also HARDEN) emphasizes the immediate effect of fear, amazement, shock, or awe and suggests complete inability to move, to think, or to act, as though one were turned to stone
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the spectators were petrified with horror

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she was too petrified to answer the question

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More than any other word in this group, petrify is often used hyper- bolically
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I was too petrified to pay any attention to him

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Analogous words: confound, bewilder, mystify (see PUZZLE): *confuse, muddle, befuddle: dazzle, dizzy (see corresponding adjectives at GIDDY)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Daze — (d[=a]z), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Dazed} (d[=a]zd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Dazing}.] [OE. dasen, prob. from Icel. dasask to become weary, a reflexive verb; cf. Sw. dasa to lie idle, and OD. daesen to be foolish, insane, daes, dwaes, D. dwaas, foolish,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Daze — may refer to: Daze, Burkina Faso, a village in Tenkodogo Department, Boulgou, Burkina Faso Daze (Eurodance band), a Eurodance band Daze (comics), a fictional character who appeared in Marvel Comics MC2 series J2 This disambiguation page lists… …   Wikipedia

  • Daze — Daze, n. 1. The state of being dazed; as, he was in a daze. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster] 2. (Mining) A glittering stone. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • daze — [deız] n [Date: 1300 1400; Origin: dazed] in a daze feeling confused and not able to think clearly ▪ She wandered round in a daze, not quite sure what to do …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • daze — [ deız ] noun in a daze unable to think clearly or understand what is happening because you are surprised, upset, tired, or have been hit on the head …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Dazé — Porté au Québec, le nom s est écrit autrefois D Hazé, Dasay, Daze et Dazey. Le premier porteur du nom au Québec venait de Loudun (Vienne). Il désigne celui qui est originaire d Azay ou Azé, nom de nombreuses communes françaises. Signification du… …   Noms de famille

  • daze — [n] confusion befuddlement, bewilderment, distraction, gauze, glaze, haze, lala land*, maze, muddledness, nadaville*, narcosis, shock, stupefaction, stupor, trance; concept 410 Ant. expectation, understanding daze [v] confuse, shock addle, amaze …   New thesaurus

  • daze — index confuse (bewilder), discompose, disorganize, muddle, obfuscate, overcome (overwhelm), overwhelm …   Law dictionary

  • daze — (v.) early 14c., dasen, perhaps from O.N. *dasa (Cf. dasask to become weary, with reflexive suffix sk). Or perhaps from M.Du. dasen act silly. Perhaps originally to make weary with cold, which is the sense of Icelandic dasask (from the O.N. word) …   Etymology dictionary

  • daze — ► VERB ▪ cause to feel stunned or bewildered. ► NOUN ▪ a state of stunned confusion or bewilderment. DERIVATIVES dazedly adverb. ORIGIN from Old Norse, weary …   English terms dictionary


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