- The definition of astonish is to amaze someone.
The effect a trapeze artist has on an audience is an example of astonish.
Origin of astonishaltered ; from Middle English astonien ; from Old French estoner ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form extonare (for Classical Latin attonare) ; from ex-, intensive + tonare, to thunder
transitive verbas·ton·ished, as·ton·ish·ing, as·ton·ish·es
Origin of astonishAlteration of Middle English astonen, from Old French estoner, from Vulgar Latin *extonāre : Latin ex-, ex- + Latin tonāre, to thunder; see (s)ten&schwa;- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present astonishes, present participle astonishing, simple past and past participle astonished)
From an alteration (due to words ending in -ish: abolish, banish, cherish, establish, furnish, etc.) of earlier astony, astone, aston, astun (“to astonish, confound, stun”), from Middle English astonien, astunien, astonen, astunen, astounen (“to astound, stun, astonish”), from Old English *āstunian, from ā- (perfective prefix) + stunian (“to make a loud sound, crash, resound, roar, bang, dash, impinge, knock, confound, astonish, stupefy”), from Proto-Germanic *stunōną (“to sound, crash, bang, groan”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ten-, *(s)ton- (“to thunder, roar, groan”), equivalent to a- + stun. Compare German erstaunen (“to astonish, amaze”). Influenced by Old French estoner, estuner, estonner (“to stun”), either from an assumed Latin *extonare, or from Old Frankish *stunen (“to stun”), related to Middle High German stunen (“to knock, strike, stun”) and thus also to the Old English word above.