The verb "stun"

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Senior Member
Hi, everybody!

So, In my dictionary, the verb stun can mean "to make a person o an animal unconscious", but in other dictionary I found online it can mean that or to confuse a person or an animal. So, can this verb have these 2 meanings?
I'm asking this because when you're unconscious, you are not awake, but when you're confused, you're awake.

I don't know which dictionary is right.

Thanks :)
  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England

    If you consult the Wordreference dictionary you will see the following definitions.

    stun /stʌn/ v. [~ + object], stunned, stun•ning.
    1. to cause (someone) to lose consciousness, feeling, or strength by or as if by a blow, fall, etc.:He was stunned by a wicked blow to the head.
    2. to astonish; astound; amaze:We were completely stunned by her hostile reaction.
    3. to shock; overwhelm:We were stunned to hear of his sudden death.

    I think you can see that those meanings answer your question.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In addition to those meanings of stun as a verb, the adjective stunning can mean "very beautiful." It's a word with several meanings. Unfortunately, English has a lot of those.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    Note that "stun" is an example of a "metaphor" and is well-established as such.

    (a cognate of the word exists in your native Portuguese as well)

    The only way you can differentiate between metaphorical (figurative) and literal usage is through context. (which we don't have here.)

    As a side note, educated and articulate native English speakers do not begin thoughts with "so," which is a crutch for those who need to jump-start a conversation.

    (Which I also submit as an example of two metaphors, which you might or might not find in your dictionary :))
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