• WordNet 3.6
    • n astonishment the feeling that accompanies something extremely surprising "he looked at me in astonishment"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Miss Fabia, the Younger, astonished at the Patrician's double-knock Miss Fabia, the Younger, astonished at the Patrician's double-knock

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Astonishment Dismay; consternation.
    • Astonishment The condition of one who is stunned. Hence: Numbness; loss of sensation; stupor; loss of sense. "A coldness and astonishment in his loins, as folk say."
    • Astonishment The object causing such an emotion. "Thou shalt become an astonishment ."
    • Astonishment The overpowering emotion excited when something unaccountable, wonderful, or dreadful is presented to the mind; an intense degree of surprise; amazement. "Lest the place
      And my quaint habits breed astonishment ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n astonishment The state of being astonished. The state of being stunned or benumbed.
    • n astonishment Confusion of mind from sudden fear or other emotion; consternation.
    • n astonishment Passion; excitement; frenzy.
    • n astonishment Great surprise or wonder; amazement.
    • n astonishment A cause or matter of consternation.
    • n astonishment Synonyms Amazement, admiration, awe.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Astonishment amazement: wonder: a cause for astonishment
    • ***


  • Saying
    “Knowledge, humbles a great person, astonishes the common, and puffs up the small.”
  • Andre Maurois
    “In literature, as in love, we are astonished at the choice made by other people.”
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
    “The little rift between the sexes is astonishingly widened by simply teaching one set of catchwords to the girls and another to the boys.”
  • Robert Clive
    Robert Clive
    “My God, Mr. Chairman, at this moment I stand astonished at my own moderation!”
  • Thomas A. Edison
    “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.”
  • Charles Caleb Colton
    “Of all the marvelous works of God, perhaps the one angels view with the most supreme astonishment, is a proud man.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. OF. estonnement, F. étonnement,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From the earlier form, Astone; O. Fr. estoner; L. attonāre, to strike with a thunderbolt.


In literature:

The group, which was entirely female, stared round and down at her in astonished silence, and shook its heads; and as she saw Mr.
"Christopher and Columbus" by Countess Elizabeth Von Arnim
She was gazing at him in astonishment.
"The Redemption of David Corson" by Charles Frederic Goss
I looked out through the windows, and, to my astonishment, it was broad daylight.
"The Stowmarket Mystery" by Louis Tracy
But he was astonished to the limit of astonishment by what Mr. Welles brought out in the silence which finally dropped between them.
"The Brimming Cup" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
This astonished them both so much that they became good friends at once.
"Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12)" by Various
The cow-man was bringing up the cows to be milked, and he looked astonished as he greeted his mistress.
"Gladys, the Reaper" by Anne Beale
If Antliss had continued to win he would have been astonishing because he could astonish any one by believing what he did believe.
"Matisse Picasso and Gertrude Stein" by Gertrude Stein
For a moment Mr. Pinhorn was dumb with astonishment.
"In the Days of Poor Richard" by Irving Bacheller
Mrs. Verner gazed after her in very astonishment.
"Verner's Pride" by Mrs. Henry Wood
He regarded me with pity as well as astonishment.
"Slippy McGee, Sometimes Known as the Butterfly Man" by Marie Conway Oemler
Rachel was quite astonished at the anxiety displayed by her father when Worse began to speak.
"Garman and Worse" by Alexander Lange Kielland
He was quite astonished at the sight, as he had never beheld its like.
"His Excellency the Minister" by Jules Claretie
I'm fairly astonished at you naming such a thing!
"Christine" by Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
But who could describe their astonishment when they turned around and saw a beautiful lady, richly dressed, standing before them?
"Tales of the Caravan, Inn, and Palace." by William Hauff
He had been seen, on one occasion, sitting on the grass with an expression of astonishment on his features.
"Toilers of the Sea" by Victor Hugo
All this astonished us greatly as we had neither seen nor heard, of such things before.
"The Memoirs of the Conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo, Vol 1 (of 2)" by Bernal Diaz del Castillo
Judge then of my astonishment, and delight, when I found a perfect little fairy.
"Cora and The Doctor" by Harriette Newell Baker
As for the girl at my side, she watched me in some astonishment.
"The Great White Army" by Max Pemberton
A loud smacking of the lips almost drowned the simultaneous exclamations of astonishment uttered by the young lady and her maid.
"The Headless Horseman" by Mayne Reid
We may easily judge into what astonishment the lady of honor and ladies of her train were thrown.
"Voltaire's Romances" by François-Marie Arouet

In poetry:

What was my astonishment—
What was my compunction,
When she reached the Offices
Of the Didland Junction!
"A Doe In The City" by William Makepeace Thackeray
And the Calmuc envoy sent,
As before to take their dues all,
Got, to his astonishment,
A unanimous refusal!
"The Legend Of St. Sophia Of Kioff" by William Makepeace Thackeray
While for Britannia's distant shore
We sweep the liquid plain,
And with astonish'd eyes explore
The wide-extended main.
"A Farewell To America to Mrs. S. W." by Phillis Wheatley
Not more astonished had we been
If madness, that dark night, unseen,
Had in our chambers crept,
And murdered while we slept!
"An Horatian Ode" by Richard Henry Stoddard
High as his trunk the man can bear,
Th' astonish'd man he bore,
Who vainly struggled in the air,
And trembled more and more.
"The Elephant" by William Hayley
Then the next day at sunrise the tower door was opened wide,
And a bronzed and scarred Grenadier forth did glide;
Literally laden with muskets, and passed along the line of troops,
While in utter astonishment the Austrian Colonel upon him looks.
"The First Grenadier of France" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

I was at the grocery store on July 4th and was astonished to see the bank branch open.
Some people are astonished that a twenty-six-year-old Frenchman with imperfect English could write the best book on America, after a brief visit to the country.
William Gibbs McAdoo, the Knoxville lawyer and businessman whose astonishing career took him from the jail on Market Square to the Treasury Department , where he oversaw the birth of the Federal Reserve Board.
Abraham Lincoln Scrawled This Astonishing Note To Save a Soldier's Life.
Picks up an astonishing amount of dust and pet hair.
Sean Penn Astonishing as Ex-Pop Star in "This Must Be the Place".
Al Copley — known to many as the blues piano player for Roomful of Blues — is a consistently surprising and vibrant player with an astonishing range.
TO the astonishment of even the most wild-eyed optimists, a promising new avenue is opening in computer science.
The astonished MT scribe couldn't hide his reaction.
Claudio Sgarbi says he "was totally astonished" when he examined a manuscript including a drawing that seemed to prefigure Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.
The Huntsville Times/Eric Schultz Author Homer Hickam, a retired NASA engineer, was astonished and inspired the first time he saw Wernher von Braun on television talking about the possibility of rockets going into space.
It was an astonishing intervention by the Holy See at a moment of high tension.
Even after 714 years, 'Travels of Marco Polo' a vivid, astonishing tale.
In an astonishing interview, an angry John McCain discussed in detail, the resurgence of al-Qaeda and their assassination of our ambassador to Libya, John Stevens.
The Astonishing Obama Tech Boom (That He Doesn't Want to Talk About).

In science:

Strain-induced ferroelectricity in simple rocksalt AO oxides comparable to that in ABO3 oxides is not only an astonishing fundamental nding but also of direct interest for practical applications.
Strain-induced ferroelectricity in simple rocksalt binary oxides
This work showed that a random (N −n)-dimensional pro jection of the N -dimensional ℓ1 ball has an astonishingly small Euclidean diameter: approximately p(1 + log(N/n))/n.
Finding structure with randomness: Probabilistic algorithms for constructing approximate matrix decompositions
Nevertheless, quantum mechanics appears to be astonishingly adequate in order to describe the material world in which we live.
Experimental proposal for testing the Emergence of Environment Induced (EIN) Classical Selection rules with Biological Systems
In recent years, both the fields of cold trapped ions and of neutral, ultracold atomic gases have experienced an astonishing development.
An apparatus for immersing trapped ions into an ultracold gas of neutral atoms
Furthermore, in this context the question arose which random variables generate the ℓ2 -norm, since standard gaussians astonishingly do not.
On the Maximum of Random Variables on Product Spaces
There is a subset λ∗ of the reweighting parameters (depending on the value of K ) for which the reweighted random K -SAT problem has quite astonishing properties.
Reweighted belief propagation and quiet planting for random K-SAT
This inevitably creates an enormous burden on data collecting and processing, especially when n is astonishingly large in certain applications.
Compressed Hypothesis Testing: to Mix or Not to Mix?
To the astonishment of some, this is a fact that permeates all main areas of human knowledge, including Physics, Computer Science, Philosophy and even Mathematics.
On the Nature of Reality
The result in (6) is rather astonishing: it states first that the moments of the current of an arbitrary order decay in the same fashion.
Anomalous fluctuations of currents in Sinai-type random chains with strongly correlated disorder
This proved to be an astonishingly fruitful idea.
Gauge Theories of Gravitation
The problem is that six phases are included in the general three neutrino seesaw scenario — it would be astonishing if the C P/ parameter we are interested in (ǫ1 ) is proportional to the low energy phases (δ , φ1,2).
Theory of Neutrinos: A White Paper
To his astonishement water was transformed into ice .
Basic notions of dense matter physics: applications to astronomy
Although QCD has been with us for three decades, the knowledge of the values of the various fundamental or effective parameters of the theory (with the possible exception of the coupling constant) such as quark masses and condensates is still astonishingly limited.
QCD condensates from tau-decay data: A functional approach
This gives a high significance to the results that CHS and KW report, from their analyses, of an “ astonishing ” quadrupole and octopole alignment.
Harmonic projection and multipole Vectors
The conclusion of the paper by Hough et al. quoted in is astonishing.
Gravitational waves from BBH-systems? A (doubly) vain quest