Definition of nonplussed in English:

nonplussed

adjective

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

    ‘Henry looked completely nonplussed’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hugh says their daughters, the youngest of whom was at university, ‘were initially nonplussed, but secretly rather proud of us.’’
    • ‘Win Butler and Regine Chassagne look nonplussed.’
    • ‘When, the night of his gig, the emcee announced ‘Here's Rodney Dangerfield,’ a somewhat nonplussed audience looked at him with confusion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Obviously, when Metalclad decided to re-open and expand the facilities in 1995, the citizens of Guadalcazar were altogether nonplussed.’
    • ‘I was starting to realize how nonplussed the sight of Rob had made her.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The farther she read into the will, the more nonplussed she became.’
    • ‘I was somewhat nonplussed and ended up saying ‘I'm rather surprised they even felt the need to ask.’’
    • ‘I was totally nonplussed; what was she talking about?’
    • ‘William looks completely nonplussed at this announcement.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The girl was completely nonplussed at his odd behavior.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Clearing her throat just a bit, she looked rather nonplussed at the whole conversation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm totally nonplussed as to what the note means.’
    confused, bewildered, bemused, puzzled, perplexed, baffled, stumped, mystified, stupefied, muddled, befuddled, fuddled, dumbfounded, at sea, at a loss, at sixes and sevens, thrown, thrown off balance, taken aback, disoriented, disconcerted, discomposed, troubled, discomfited, unnerved, shaken, shaken up, dazed, stunned, surprised, astonished, astounded
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  • 2North American informal Not disconcerted; unperturbed.

    • ‘But he remained nonplussed in the face of his wife's cynicism.’
    • ‘‘No, thank you,’ I replied, to all appearances nonplussed but inwardly raging.’
    • ‘Felix is nonplussed by the pills, but others are less thrilled about the daily regime.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was nonplussed, so I said nothing and smiled, hoping to calm her down.’
    unperturbed, untroubled, undisturbed, unworried, unconcerned, unmoved, unflustered, unruffled, unshaken, undismayed
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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/