nonplus[nän plüs′, nän′plus′]
- Nonplus is a state of confusion where you don't know what to do, think or say.
An example of nonplus is being told to turn right on Fifth Street while approaching the intersection where North Fifth Street is to the left and South Fifth Street is to the right.
Origin of nonplusClassical Latin non, not + plus, more: see plus
transitive verbnon·plussed, non·plus·sing, non·plus·ses also non·plused or non·plus·ing or non·plus·es
- To put at a loss as to what to think, say, or do; bewilder.
- Usage Problem To cause to feel indifferent or bored.
Origin of nonplusFrom Latin nōn plūs, no more : nōn, not; see non– + plūs, more; see pel&schwa;-1 in Indo-European roots. Usage Note: The verb nonplus, from the Latin phrase nōn plūs, “not more,” is well established with the meaning “to surprise and bewilder.” The verb and its participial adjective nonplussed often imply that the affected person is at a loss for words. This use of the word was acceptable to 84 percent of the Usage Panel in our 2001 survey in the sentence The scientists were completely nonplussed—the apparatus had not acted at all as they had expected. • However, the word is frequently used to mean “to make indifferent, bore,” as if the plus part of the word meant “to overcome with excitement.” English speakers may have interpreted the silence implied by nonplussed as evidence that the people being referred to are so unimpressed that they have nothing to say. This usage is still controversial and should probably be avoided, since it may well be viewed as a mistake. In our 2001 survey, 61 percent of the Panel rejected the sentence The nine panelists showed little emotion during the broadcast and were generally nonplussed by the outcome..
(third-person singular simple present nonplusses, present participle nonplussing, simple past and past participle nonplussed)
From Latin nōn plūs (“no more, no further”)