From Middle English astouned, astoned, astuned, past participle of astounen, astonen, astunen (to astonish). More at astonish.


  • IPA(key): /əˈstaʊnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊnd


astound (third-person singular simple present astounds, present participle astounding, simple past and past participle astounded)

  1. To astonish, bewilder or dazzle.
    • 1637, John Milton, Comus, London: Humphrey Robinson, p. 8,[1]
      These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
      The vertuous mind []
    • 1820, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, Chapter 22,[2]
      The yell which Isaac raised at this unfeeling communication made the very vault to ring, and astounded the two Saracens so much that they let go their hold of the Jew.
    • 1848, Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton, Chapter 6,[3]
      The vices of the poor sometimes astound us here; but when the secrets of all hearts shall be made known, their virtues will astound us in far greater degree. Of this I am certain.
    • 1982, Paul Auster, “On the High Wire” in The Art of Hunger, Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1992, p. 240,[4]
      A young man had strung a wire between the towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral and walked and juggled and danced on it for three hours, astounding the crowds of people below.

Derived termsEdit



astound (comparative more astound, superlative most astound)

  1. (obsolete) Stunned; astounded; astonished.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, London: William Ponsonbie, Book 1, Canto 9, p. 129,[5]
      [] his hollow eyne
      Lookt deadly dull, and stared as astound;
    • 1760, George Alexander Stevens, The History of Tom Fool, London: T. Waller, Volume 2, Chapter 2, p. 9,[6]
      For some Moments the Esquire stood astound, he rubb’d his Eyes, look’d on his Sister, stared at the Maid:
    • 1810, Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake, Edinburgh: John Ballantyne, Canto 2, Stanza 31, p. 36,[7]
      Thus Ellen, dizzy and astound,
      As sudden ruin yawned around,
      By crossing terrors wildly tossed,
      Still for the Douglas fearing most,
      Could scarce the desperate thought withstand,
      To buy his safety with her hand.

Further readingEdit