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1(of a person) surprised and confused so much that they are unsure how to react.‘he would be completely nonplussed and embarrassed at the idea’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Clearing her throat just a bit, she looked rather nonplussed at the whole conversation.’
- ‘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?’
- ‘Since I am not a runner, I confess I am nonplussed.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘I was starting to realize how nonplussed the sight of Rob had made her.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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 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.’
- ‘I was somewhat nonplussed and ended up saying ‘I'm rather surprised they even felt the need to ask.’’
- ‘Obviously, when Metalclad decided to re-open and expand the facilities in 1995, the citizens of Guadalcazar were altogether nonplussed.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The farther she read into the will, the more nonplussed she became.’
- ‘I'm totally nonplussed as to what the note means.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The girl was completely nonplussed at his odd behavior.’
2North American informal (of a person) not disconcerted; unperturbed.
embarrassed, ashamed, shamefaced, remorseful, mortified, conscience-stricken, humiliated, humbled, taken aback, disconcerted, 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 legsView synonyms
- ‘But he remained nonplussed in the face of his wife's cynicism.’
- ‘‘No, thank you,’ I replied, to all appearances nonplussed but inwardly raging.’
- ‘I was nonplussed, so I said nothing and smiled, hoping to calm her down.’
- ‘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.’
In standard use, nonplussed means ‘surprised and confused’: the hostility of the new neighbor's refusal left Mrs. Walker nonplussed. In North American English, a new use has developed in recent years, meaning ‘unperturbed’—more or less the opposite of its traditional meaning: hoping to disguise his confusion, he tried 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
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