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Daze vs Stun vs Bemuse vs Stupefy vs Benumb vs Paralyze vs Petrify

Daze, stun, bemuse, stupefy, benumb, paralyzepetrify all mean to dull or deaden the powers of the mind through some disturbing experience or influence.

Daze may imply any of numerous causes (as a blow on the head, an excess of light, or a physical or mental shock) which prostrates one's powers and leaves one confused or bewildered or dazzled.

Stun usually suggests a sudden deprivation of one's powers of thought or a loss of consciousness as a result of a heavy blow or a violent fall, but it is also used in an extended and often hyperbolic sense to describe the devastating effect of noise, surprise, or astonishment.

Bemuse implies an addling or muddling of the mind whether through intoxication or through employment, preoccupation, or engrossment that dulls or abstracts the mind.

Stupefy heightens the implication of stupor or stupidity by weakening not only the implication of shock or surprise but that of overwork or fatigue; it therefore usually implies something (as an injury, an illness, a grief or anxiety long-continued, or intoxication) that dulls both the senses and the mind.

Benumb is used chiefly of the effect of cold in deadening or immobilizing the muscles, but it is used also of anything that becomes so inert that it seems as if frozen.

Paralyze is often used figuratively to imply an inability to act or to function, on the part of a thing as well as of a person, that comes as the result of a dire event, a burden too heavy to be borne, or an astounding disclosure.

Petrify (see also HARDEN) emphasizes the immediate effect of fear, amazement, shock, or awe and suggests complete inability to move, to think, or to act, as though one were turned to stone.

More than any other word in this group, petrify is often used hyperbolically.