From (etyl) dumb, from (etyl) .
In ordinary spoken English, a phrase like "He is dumb" is interpreted as "He is stupid" rather than "He lacks the power of speech". The latter example, however, is the original sense of the word. The senses of stupid'', ''unintellectual'', and ''pointless developed under the influence of the (etyl) word dumm.
(label) Unable to speak; lacking power of speech.
(label) Silent; unaccompanied by words.
- to unloose the very tongues even of dumb creatures
- dumb show
* J. C. Shairp
- This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
- to pierce into the dumb past
(label) Pointless, foolish, lacking intellectual content or value.
- You are so dumb ! You don't even know how to make toast!
- This is dumb ! We're driving in circles! We should have asked for directions an hour ago!
Lacking brightness or clearness, as a colour.
* De Foe
- Brendan had the dumb job of moving boxes from one conveyor belt to another.
- Her stern was painted of a dumb white or dun color.
* (unable to speak) dumbstruck, mute, speechless, wordless
* (stupid) feeble-minded, idiotic, moronic, stupid
* banal, brainless, dopey, silly, stupid, ridiculous, vulgar
* dumb as a box of rocks
From (etyl) dumbien, from (etyl) dumbian (more commonly in compound .
* 1911 , Lindsay Swift, William Lloyd Garrison , p. 272,
To make stupid.
* 2003 , Angela Calabrese Barton, Teaching Science for Social Justice , p. 124,
- The paralysis of the Northern conscience, the dumbing of the Northern voice, were coming to an end.
To represent as stupid.
* 2004 , Stephen Oppenheimer, The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa , p. 107,
- I think she's dumbing us down, so we won't be smarter than her.
To reduce the intellectual demands of.
* 2002 , Deborah Meier, In Schools We Trust: Creating Communities of Learning in an Era of Testing , p. 126,
- Bad-mouthing Neanderthals . . . is symptomatic of a need to exclude and even demonize. . . . I suggest that the unproven dumbing of the Neanderthals is an example of the same cultural preconception.
- The ensuing storm caused the department to lower the bar—amid protests that this was dumbing the test down—so that only 80 percent of urban kids would fail.
* dumb blonde
* dumb down
* dumb terminal
* play dumb
To confuse; to mix up; to puzzle.
, date=June 29
, author=Kevin Mitchell
, title=Roger Federer back from Wimbledon 2012 brink to beat Julien Benneteau
, work=the Guardian
, passage=The fightback when it came was in the Federer fashion: unfussy, filled with classy strokes from the back with perfectly timed interventions at the net that confounded
his opponent. The third set passed in a bit of a blur, the fourth, which led to the second tie-break, was the most dramatic of the match. }}
* 1830 , , i, 34,
To fail to see the difference; to mix up; to confuse right and wrong.
* 1651 (Latin edition 1642), ,
- And the brother of Jared being a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord, Jared, his brother, said unto him: Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words.
To make something worse.
- Hey who lesse seriously consider the force of words, doe sometimes confound' Law with Counsell, sometimes with Covenant, sometimes with Right. They ' confound Law with Counsell, who think, that it is the duty of Monarchs not onely to give ear to their Counsellours, but also to obey them, as though it were in vaine to take Counsell, unlesse it were also followed.
* 1983 , Carol M. Anderson, Susan Stewart, Mastering Resistance: A Practical Guide to Family Therapy ,
- Don't confound the situation by yelling.
To cause to be ashamed; to abash.
- While she had obeyed him, smiling sweetly all the time, she had nursed a growing resentment of what she called his "Latin American macho attitude." To confound the problem, his mother, who lived with them on and off, was described by the wife as being as domineering as her son.
To defeat, to frustrate, to thwart.
* 1769 , King James Bible, Oxford Standard text, , i, 27,
- His actions confounded the skeptics.
* Traditional, date and author unknown, ,
- But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound' the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to ' confound the things which are mighty;
* 1848 February 12, ,
- O Lord, our God, arise, / Scatter thine enemies, / And make them fall / Confound their politics, / Frustrate their knavish tricks, / On thee our hopes we fix: / God save us all.
(dated) To damn (a mild oath ).
- I am now, in order the better to confound your politics, going to give you a true account of the means we intend to use, and of the rules, signs, and pass-words of our new United Irish Society Lodge A. 1.—They are so simple that you will never believe them.
- Confound you!
* 1882 , '' in ''The Gully of Bluemansdyke and Other Stories ,
- Confound the lady!
- "Number 43 is no better, Doctor," said the head-warder, in a slightly reproachful accent, looking in round the corner of my door.
*1877 , (Anna Sewell), (Black Beauty) Chapter 23[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Black_Beauty/23]
*:"Confound these bearing reins!" he said to himself; "I thought we should have some mischief soon—master will be sorely vexed;
(archaic) To bring to ruination.
To stun, amaze
- "Confound 43!" I responded from behind the pages of the Australian Sketcher .
* mix up
(statistics) a confounding variable