English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌnɪŋ
  • Hyphenation: stun‧ning

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English stunnyng, stunnynge, stounyng, equivalent to stun +‎ -ing.

Adjective edit

stunning (comparative more stunning, superlative most stunning)

  1. Having an effect that stuns.
    The stunning jolt from the taser gun made the criminal stop fleeing.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book II”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      At length a univerſal hubbub wild,
      Of ſtunning ſounds and voices all confus'd,
      Borne through the hollow dark, aſſaults his ear
    • 1720, Homer, [Alexander] Pope, transl., “Book XXI”, in The Iliad of Homer, volume V, London: [] W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintott [], →OCLC, page 233:
      The ſtunning ſtroke his ſtubborn nerves unbound;
    • 1859, Paul Betneys (pseud. [i.e. Thomas Nisbet]), chapter LIX, in The English Emigrants: or, Troubles on both Sides of the Atlantic[1], London: Horsell & Caudwell, page 299:
      [W]e put off our burdens, and sat down rather dispirited, amidst a stunning noise made by the chirping of myriads of grasshoppers, and an abominable little creature that made a constant croaking "Caw, caw," producing a concert far from harmonious.
  2. (informal) Exceptionally beautiful or attractive.
    That woman is stunning!
    • 1923, Rachel Crothers, “Act III”, in Mary the Third[:] A Comedy in Prologue and Three Acts:
      What if the very things you like in me now—you'd hate sometime. What if the things I think are strong and stunning in you now, I'd think were pig-headed and kickable after a while?
    • 2022 November 30, Paul Bigland, “Destination Oban: a Sunday in Scotland”, in RAIL, number 971, page 75:
      The line along the Northumbrian coast to Berwick and into Scotland is stunning (even on a Voyager!), and the weather is perfect - just sit back, relax, and enjoy the motion picture that plays beyond the window.
  3. (informal) Amazing; wonderfully good.
    The film was stunning.
    • 2012 April 15, Phil McNulty, “Tottenham 1-5 Chelsea”, in BBC[2]:
      So it was against the run of play that their London rivals took the lead two minutes before the interval through Drogba. He rolled William Gallas inside the area before flashing a stunning finish high past keeper Carlo Cudicini.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Verb edit


  1. present participle and gerund of stun

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English stunnyng, stonyng (also stoniynge, stonyynge), equivalent to stun +‎ -ing.

Noun edit

stunning (plural stunnings)

  1. The act by which a person or animal is physically stunned.
    • 2009, Kevin J. Anderson, The Ashes of Worlds:
      He wished he had tens of thousands more troops under Andez's control so he could round up every one of these demonstrators. But it was futile to continue cracking down. The stunnings, beatings and arrests had only inflamed them further.