stunning

Someone who is strikingly beautiful can be described as stunning. There's something magical about weddings that makes every bride look stunning.

The adjective stunning also means causing astonishment, shock, or disbelief. If your basketball team suffers a stunning defeat, it comes at the hands of a rival team you were positive you would beat. Stunning is rooted in the Old French verb estoner, meaning to stun or shock, and it was used in the 1800s as a synonym for excellent. It's still used this way, particularly when something is really impressive, like the school mime troupe's stunning performance.

Definitions of stunning
  1. adjective
    causing or capable of causing bewilderment or shock or insensibility
    “laid the poor fellow senseless with one stunning blow”
    “a stunning detonation with volumes of black smoke”
    Synonyms:
    disorienting
    causing loss of physical or intellectual bearings
  2. adjective
    causing great astonishment and consternation
    “the strike came as a stunning protest against management”
    “a stunning defeat”
    Synonyms:
    surprising
    causing surprise or wonder or amazement
  3. adjective
    strikingly beautiful or attractive
    stunning photographs of Canada's wilderness areas”
    Synonyms:
    beautiful
    delighting the senses or exciting intellectual or emotional admiration
  4. adjective
    commanding attention
    “a stunning performance”
    synonyms: arresting, sensational
    impressive
    making a strong or vivid impression
Word Family