Definition of stun in English:



  • 1Knock unconscious or into a semi-conscious state.

    ‘the man was stunned by a blow to the head’
    • ‘They put up little or no fight, either - they just aim a puny punch at your hero, who then blocks and either stuns or kills them.’
    • ‘The court heard that he had used a police-approved technique to stun a struggling suspect with a hard blow to a cluster of nerves in the neck and face.’
    • ‘This stuns the sperm, effectively putting them to sleep for up to 10 days.’
    • ‘You see, the killing machine can never slit the throat of every bird that goes by, especially those that the stunner does not stun properly.’
    • ‘The explosion stuns or kills fish, and they are then harvested by divers.’
    • ‘The force of the blow left her momentarily stunned and knocked the air out of her.’
    • ‘This blow would stun it, and then he would run in to stab it and finish it off.’
    • ‘Most people normally think in terms of punching or striking to the back of the head, temples, side of the neck, and edge of the jaw next to the ear to stun, or knock out.’
    • ‘Many animals are not properly stunned as they are pushed through the slaughterhouse as quickly as possible.’
    • ‘Levi was stunned by the blow and reached up to rub his face, red from Wade's blow.’
    • ‘This current kills or stuns all fish in a radius of about two meters.’
    • ‘The Brooklyn boxer stunned Rangel with a solid left before knocking him out with a powerful right.’
    • ‘She turned away like one stunned by a blow, and walked slowly towards the door, hoping he would call her back.’
    • ‘When he hits his prey, he actually stuns the prey, like an antelope, and then he'll grab the esophagus right here and chokes - breaks the esophagus.’
    • ‘The stun knocked him back aways and he fell to the ground.’
    • ‘I'll settle for a sand-filled sock and merely stun them senseless if they should as much as look at me askance on this day.’
    daze, stupefy, knock senseless, knock unconscious, knock out, lay out
    View synonyms
  • 2Astonish or shock (someone) so that they are temporarily unable to react.

    ‘the community was stunned by the tragedy’
    ‘she stared at him in stunned disbelief’
    • ‘It still stuns me to this day that they said this and truly saw no problem with it.’
    • ‘The similarity of the attacks has stunned the family who had believed the person responsible for the murder had been detained.’
    • ‘It's unlikely they could do it night after night in a production that travels and stuns the world, as Brook's actors did.’
    • ‘What stuns the fans is that the aggrieved baseball players are among the highest paid people on the planet.’
    • ‘The workers were too stunned to react on seeing complete strangers entering their area.’
    • ‘The scale of the strike movement and of the Popular Front's electoral victory temporarily stunned its opponents.’
    • ‘Magic Johnson stuns the world with his announcement that he is HIV positive.’
    • ‘It stuns me to see women say they're in love with a guy they simply do not know.’
    • ‘The powerful film shows that the beautiful game rears a truly ugly side, which is bound to shock and stun audiences.’
    • ‘On their return to council last month they were stunned to hear it had blown out to nearly a quarter of a million dollars.’
    • ‘People are stunned by it and are scrambling to respond, which is natural.’
    • ‘Patrice and Hugh's easy generosity stuns Helen, because the way they treat her is the opposite of the way life has.’
    • ‘Indeed, throughout the country people were left stunned by the antics of Lizzy and husband Mark.’
    • ‘I am stunned, shocked, and as a secondary school teacher myself, very disappointed.’
    • ‘It's the second tragedy to stun the people of Kilkenny this week.’
    • ‘The news has stunned war veterans in the city - and has sparked an urgent plea for more volunteers to come forward.’
    • ‘Hari then stuns us with some ‘facts’ which he hopes will save him from absurdity.’
    • ‘Across the globe people are stunned by the Colombia space shuttle disaster, and Americans are in mourning.’
    • ‘The thought of loosing life or limb stuns us into shock, and as a result we stop breathing.’
    • ‘I was simply stunned at the number and variety of people who streamed through asking for coins.’
    astound, amaze, astonish, startle, take someone's breath away, dumbfound, stupefy, overwhelm, stagger, shock, confound, take aback, shake up
    View synonyms


Middle English: shortening of Old French estoner astonish.