benumb vs dull what difference

what is difference between benumb and dull

English

Etymology

be- +‎ numb

Verb

benumb (third-person singular simple present benumbs, present participle benumbing, simple past and past participle benumbed)

  1. (transitive) To make numb, as by cold or anesthetic.
    • 1583, John Foxe, Actes and Monuments, London: John Daye, Book 4, p. 233,[1]
      [] the sayd Phillip [] in the same his pilgrimage was stricken with such colde, that he fell into a palsey, and was benumbed of the right side of his body.
    • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, London: W. Taylor, p. 344,[2]
      [] the Cold was insufferable; nor indeed was it more painful than it was surprising, to come but ten Days before out of the old Castile where the Weather was not only warm but very hot, and immediately to feel a Wind from the Pyrenean Mountains, so very keen, so severely cold, as to be intollerable, and to endanger benumbing and perishing of our Fingers and Toes.
    • 1847, Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey, Chapter 2,[3]
      ‘My hands are so benumbed with the cold that I can scarcely handle my knife and fork.’
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To deaden, dull (the mind, faculties, etc.).
    • c. 1601, William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act II, Scene 2,[4]
      [] If this law
      Of nature be corrupted through affection,
      And that great minds, of partial indulgence
      To their benumbed wills, resist the same,
      There is a law in each well-order’d nation
      To curb those raging appetites that are
      Most disobedient and refractory.
    • 1741, Samuel Richardson, Pamela, London: C. Rivington & J. Osborn, Volume 1, Letter 11, p. 18,[5]
      I struggled, and trembled, and was so benumb’d with Terror, that I sunk down, not in a Fit, and yet not myself []
    • 1876, George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, Book 2, Chapter 17,[6]
      Sorrowful isolation had benumbed her sense of reality, and the power of distinguishing outward and inward was continually slipping away from her.
    • 2002, Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex, New York: Picador, “Hermaphroditus,” p. 483,[7]
      Five nights a week, six hours a day, for the next four months—and, fortunately, never again—I made my living by exhibiting the peculiar way I am formed. The Clinic had prepared me for it, benumbing my sense of shame, and besides, I was desperate for money.

Derived terms

Translations



English

Alternative forms

  • dul, dulle (all obsolete)

Etymology

From Middle English dull, dul (also dyll, dill, dwal), from Old English dol (dull, foolish, erring, heretical; foolish, silly; presumptuous), from Proto-Germanic *dulaz, a variant of *dwalaz (stunned, mad, foolish, misled), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰwel-, *dʰewel- (to dim, dull, cloud, make obscure, swirl, whirl). Cognate with Scots dull, doll (slow to understand or hear, deaf, dull), North Frisian dol (rash, unthinking, giddy, flippant), Dutch dol (crazy, mad, insane), Low German dul, dol (mad, silly, stupid, fatuous), German toll (crazy, mad, wild, fantastic), Danish dval (foolish, absurd), Icelandic dulur (secretive, silent), West-Flemish dul (angry, furious).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /dʌl/
    • (Canada) IPA(key): /dʌl/, /dəl/, /dəɫ/
  • (US)
  • Rhymes: -ʌl

Adjective

dull (comparative duller, superlative dullest)

  1. Lacking the ability to cut easily; not sharp.
  2. Boring; not exciting or interesting.
    • 1895, S. R. Crockett, A Cry Across the Black Water
      “You are very dull this morning, Sheriff,” said the youngest daughter of the house, who, being the baby and pretty, had grown pettishly privileged in speech.
  3. Not shiny; having a matte finish or no particular luster or brightness.
    a dull fire or lamp;  a dull red or yellow;  a dull mirror
    • A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; as, again, the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull, small fire.
  4. Not bright or intelligent; stupid; having slow understanding.
  5. Sluggish, listless.
    • This people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, Faerie Queene
      O, help my weak wit and sharpen my dull tongue.
  6. Cloudy, overcast.
  7. Insensible; unfeeling.
    • Think me not / So dull a devil to forget the loss / Of such a matchless wife.
  8. Heavy; lifeless; inert.
    • c. 1857′, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Table-Talk
      As turning the logs will make a dull fire burn, so changes of study a dull brain.
  9. (of pain etc) Not intense; felt indistinctly or only slightly.
    Pressing on the bruise produces a dull pain.
  10. (of a noise or sound) Not clear, muffled.

Synonyms

  • See also Thesaurus:boring
  • See also Thesaurus:stupid
  • (not shiny): lackluster, matte

Antonyms

  • bright
  • intelligent
  • sharp

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

dull (third-person singular simple present dulls, present participle dulling, simple past and past participle dulled)

  1. (transitive) To render dull; to remove or blunt an edge or something that was sharp.
    Years of misuse have dulled the tools.
    • 1623, Francis Bacon, A Discourse of a War with Spain
      This [] dulled their swords.
  2. (transitive) To soften, moderate or blunt; to make dull, stupid, or sluggish; to stupefy.
    He drinks to dull the pain.
    • 1850, Richard Chenevix Trench, Notes on the Miracles of Our Lord
      Use and custom have so dulled our eyes.
  3. (intransitive) To lose a sharp edge; to become dull.
    A razor will dull with use.
  4. To render dim or obscure; to sully; to tarnish.

Synonyms

  • dullen

Translations

References

  • dull in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • dull in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

Anagrams

  • ULDL

Catalan

Alternative forms

  • duïll

Etymology

From Latin ducīculus, from dūcō (I lead away).

Pronunciation

  • (Balearic, Central, Valencian) IPA(key): /ˈduʎ/

Noun

dull m (plural dulls)

  1. (nautical) scupper
    Synonym: embornal
  2. bung-hole

Further reading

  • “dull” in Diccionari de la llengua catalana, segona edició, Institut d’Estudis Catalans.


Welsh

Etymology

Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *deyḱ- (to show, point out).

Pronunciation

  • (North Wales) IPA(key): /dɨ̞ɬ/
  • (South Wales) IPA(key): /dɪɬ/

Noun

dull m (plural dulliau)

  1. method

Mutation

Further reading

  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “dull”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies

References


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