verb (used with object)

  1. to make numb; deprive of sensation: benumbed by cold.
  2. to render inactive; deaden or stupefy.

verb (tr)

  1. to make numb or powerless; deaden physical feeling in, as by cold
  2. (usually passive) to make inactive; stupefy (the mind, senses, will, etc)

late 15c., from be- + numb. Originally of mental states; of the physical body from 1520s. Related: Benumbed; benumbing.

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