Stunned in English


Stunned is an adjective that means that a person is very surprised, dumbfounded or amazed. It is understood that it is a state, not a characteristic of personality, so verbs such as ‘stay’ or ‘be’ are used instead of the verb ‘be’. For example: ‘He was stunned when he heard the news.’ There are several words with a similar meaning as surprised, perplexed, stunned, dumbfounded and stunned. In informal language, however, expressions such as ‘stay of stone’, ‘stay of a piece’ or ‘stay in pictures’ are often used. A word with the opposite meaning would be ‘impertérrito’ or ‘impassive’.

To be stunned

It is usually associated with a momentary reaction of a person to a stimulus that causes confusion because it is something unexpected. It is often used to describe a reaction to a negative event (for example, ‘I was stunned when I knew she had died’), but it can also be used for positive stimuli (‘When she was told that she had won the contest she was stunned’ ). In any case, it is used before something that causes surprise. Being astonished, therefore it is related to surprise, which is usually considered a neutral emotion and that fulfills an adaptive function that provokes a behavior of exploration and interest in novel situations.

Sometimes it is also considered as an inability to react or lack of reaction to something surprising. However, a person who is stunned usually reacts instinctively. Some of these answers may be to open your eyes and mouth more, put your hand to your mouth or put both hands on your head. In these situations, the human brain devotes attention and working memory to processing the information it has received. In this way, secondary stimuli from the environment are discarded and all mental processes are focused on the new situation that has arisen. Sometimes, a very strong impact causes the person to memorize some of these details by associating them at that time. For example, It often happens that after many years a person remembers exactly what he was doing at the time he heard shocking news. This transitory state can give way to different emotions such as happiness, fear or anger.

Origin of the word ‘stunned’

It comes from the Latin attonĭtus (struck, paralyzed by thunder). In English ‘stunned’ can be translated as ‘thunderstruck’ which literally means hit by thunder. It derives from the verb attonare, formed by the prefix ad- (indicating approximation) and tonare (making a loud noise, thundering). De attonitus also comes the word ‘fool’ to which is given a different meaning.