Definition of nonplussed in English:

nonplussed

adjective

  • 1So surprised and confused that one is unsure how to react.

    ‘Henry looked completely nonplussed’
    • ‘I'm totally nonplussed as to what the note means.’
    • ‘The farther she read into the will, the more nonplussed she became.’
    • ‘When one slightly cocky young saxophonist announced the title of the song he intended to play, he was nonplussed when Arriale asked him if he knew the lyrics.’
    • ‘The present Lord MacDonald and Chief of Clan Donald - known as Godfrey - is totally nonplussed by the sale of the barony and has no plans to bid for the title.’
    • ‘William looks completely nonplussed at this announcement.’
    • ‘Obviously, when Metalclad decided to re-open and expand the facilities in 1995, the citizens of Guadalcazar were altogether nonplussed.’
    • ‘I was somewhat nonplussed and ended up saying ‘I'm rather surprised they even felt the need to ask.’’
    • ‘The Chief continues to act confused, nonplussed and bewildered but after giving the matter some serious thought, he suddenly remembers the details of a conversation he once had with the Apache.’
    • ‘Australian Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald is a seasoned Davis Cup campaigner, first as a player and now as a captain, so he knows to always expect the unexpected in this competition, even if the crowd looked nonplussed.’
    • ‘Hugh says their daughters, the youngest of whom was at university, ‘were initially nonplussed, but secretly rather proud of us.’’
    • ‘Publishers of The Lone Ranger comic were nonplussed when, enquiring about the banning of the squeaky clean defender of justice, it was explained that it was illegal to wear a mask in New Zealand.’
    • ‘Since I am not a runner, I confess I am nonplussed.’
    • ‘Clearing her throat just a bit, she looked rather nonplussed at the whole conversation.’
    • ‘When I asked to look at a room he looked decidedly nonplussed as if, once learning the price, no one had ever bothered to look any further.’
    • ‘I was starting to realize how nonplussed the sight of Rob had made her.’
    • ‘Win Butler and Regine Chassagne look nonplussed.’
    • ‘The girl was completely nonplussed at his odd behavior.’
    • ‘I was a bit nonplussed at this question as we were in Central London, England, so why she was expressing surprise at an English accent, we never quite established.’
    • ‘When, the night of his gig, the emcee announced ‘Here's Rodney Dangerfield,’ a somewhat nonplussed audience looked at him with confusion.’
    • ‘I was totally nonplussed; what was she talking about?’
  • 2North American informal Not disconcerted; unperturbed.

    • ‘Felix is nonplussed by the pills, but others are less thrilled about the daily regime.’
    • ‘But he remained nonplussed in the face of his wife's cynicism.’
    • ‘I was nonplussed, so I said nothing and smiled, hoping to calm her down.’
    • ‘Glancing briefly at the public gallery, the Prime Minister's wife noted the presence of about half a dozen journalists - unusual for a low profile trial - but appeared nonplussed by the media interest.’
    • ‘‘No, thank you,’ I replied, to all appearances nonplussed but inwardly raging.’
    embarrassed, ashamed, shamefaced, remorseful, mortified, conscience-stricken, humiliated, humbled, taken aback, disconcerted, nonplussed, discomfited, discomposed, distressed, chagrined, perturbed, confounded, dismayed, dumbfounded, crestfallen, sheepish, red-faced, blushing, confused, put out of countenance, discountenanced, with one's tail between one's legs
    View synonyms

Usage

In standard use nonplussed means ‘surprised and confused’, as in she was nonplussed at his eagerness to help out. In North American English a new use has developed in recent years, meaning ‘unperturbed’—more or less the opposite of its traditional meaning—as in he was clearly trying to appear nonplussed. This new use probably arose on the assumption that non- was the normal negative prefix and must therefore have a negative meaning. It is not considered part of standard English

Pronunciation:

nonplussed

/nɒnˈplʌst/