Definition of astonish in English:



  • Surprise or impress (someone) greatly.

    ‘you never fail to astonish me’
    [with object and clause] ‘it astonished her that he was so anxious’
    • ‘Next day I was astonished to see Jackson coming out of the George Hotel.’
    • ‘You are astonished to discover the man can do cartwheels, handstands and back flips.’
    • ‘It still astonishes me that financial markets are animated by such boyish, combative drives.’
    • ‘Elaine, who now lives in London, said that she was astonished to get the part.’
    • ‘I haven't played tennis since I was a teenager, and I was astonished at the changes in the game.’
    • ‘As I read the article, I was astonished by what a misfit of a school it seemed to be.’
    • ‘It astonishes me how easily and often we're dismissed as racists, particularly in intellectual circles.’
    • ‘It is astonishing to see the notebook that Darwin had in his pocket as he walked around the Galapagos.’
    • ‘I am astonished at the number of people who don't wear hats or bother with suncream.’
    • ‘Since I left, one of the things which astonishes me is the change in attitudes.’
    • ‘There he is astonished to see a lion and a lamb in the same enclosure.’
    • ‘It came as no surprise to me, and probably will not astonish anyone else, that today I felt the after-effects of yesterday's long drive to and from Nottingham.’
    • ‘Ann rather astonished me by saying how she wouldn't mind a plate of egg and chips prior to leaving for the dinner.’
    • ‘The atmosphere of the cocktail circuit has changed recently, and it astonishes me.’
    • ‘That such a complicated technological product could sell for so little, astonishes some of the people quoted in the article, and it certainly also astonishes me.’
    • ‘What astonishes the contemporary reader is that a genuine, independent intellectual like Galbraith was permitted to serve in government, let alone become the confidant of presidents.’
    • ‘The scene that met my eyes was astonishing.’
    • ‘Regardless of any other opinion on the matter, it astonishes me that the European Union has managed to get this far without a constitution.’
    • ‘The results were startling as astonished friends saw him ride a bicycle for the first time in two years.’
    • ‘We were astonished at how well preserved the castle was inside, in comparison to our first view from outside.’
    • ‘It has never failed to astonish me how we pale-faced Scots continue to swallow the propaganda that down here in deepest England the weather is somehow better.’
    • ‘What astonishes me, looking back, is that we not only swallowed all the garbage we were fed, as we visited one commune, one factory after another; we positively lapped it up.’
    • ‘I am astonished there is anything left of the structure given the stresses it must by under.’
    amazed, filled with astonishment, filled with amazement, astounded, staggered, surprised, startled, stunned, thunderstruck, aghast, taken aback, confounded, dumbfounded, stupefied, dazed, nonplussed, dumbstruck, open-mouthed, agape, lost for words, wide-eyed, awed, filled with awe, filled with wonder, awestruck, wonderstruck
    shaken, shaken up, unnerved, disconcerted, discomposed, bewildered, bemused
    flabbergasted, flummoxed, floored, knocked for six, bowled over, blown away, unable to believe one's ears, unable to believe one's eyes
    amaze, astound, stagger, surprise, startle, stun, confound, dumbfound, stupefy, daze, nonplus
    throw, shake, unnerve, disconcert, discompose, bewilder
    take someone's breath away, take by surprise, take aback, shake up, stop someone in their tracks, strike dumb, leave open-mouthed, leave aghast, catch off balance
    flabbergast, floor, knock for six, knock sideways, knock out, knock the stuffing out of, bowl over, blow someone's mind, blow away
    amazing, astounding, staggering, shocking, surprising, breathtaking, striking, impressive, bewildering, stunning, stupefying
    unnerving, unsettling, disturbing, disquieting
    awe-inspiring, remarkable, notable, noteworthy, extraordinary, outstanding, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal, uncommon, unheard of
    mind-boggling, mind-blowing, hard to swallow, amazeballs
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Early 16th century (as astonished, in the sense ‘stunned, bewildered, dismayed’): from obsolete astone ‘stun, stupefy’, from Old French estoner, based on Latin ex- out + tonare to thunder.