Nonplussed is an interesting word because it appears to be a negation of 'plussed' (as in 'not plussed'). As far as I know, 'plussed' isn't a real word.

He was left nonplussed.

How would you say the opposite of this statement?

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    The answer to this related question may shed some light: english.stackexchange.com/questions/27563/… (TL;DR: There is no positive form of nonplussed) – Dusty Jul 13 '11 at 19:49
  • @Dusty, Thanks for the link to that related question! – whoabackoff Jul 13 '11 at 19:51
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    Given that Leftponders appear to have recently taken to using the word to mean "unimpressed", it has become an antonym of itself. It's "inflammable" all over again. Damn that Leroy and Jolene! – Mark Wallace Jul 13 '11 at 19:59
  • I want to say 'plussed' too. :-) I bet it was originally a word, though it's disappeared into history... – Noldorin Jul 13 '11 at 21:50
  • Actually nonplussed is a contronym: it is a synonym for a word that means the opposite of itself. In other words, the opposite of nonplussed is actually nonplussed. (Like you know "sanction".) – Pacerier May 6 '17 at 12:27

There is no direct antonym. I imagine you would say something like:

  • 'He was left enlightened."
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    Good choice. I'm no great fan of this "what's the antonym" game. Just as there are probably no perfect synonyms, it's pretty well impossible to find the exact antonym. But yours does it for me in my most easily-imagined context. – FumbleFingers Jul 13 '11 at 19:58
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    I agree, in this case at least: "nonplussed" being an "out of the ordinary" condition, it would be similar to asking "what do you call a room with no pink elephants in it?". The word for that would be "room". – JeffSahol Jul 13 '11 at 20:21
  • Exactly my thoughts. – amdouglas Jul 13 '11 at 20:38

You can't remove "non" from "nonplussed"; the term in English is one word, borrowed from the Latin "non plus" literally meaning "no more", and not the use of "non-" as a prefix meaning "not". So, the antonym is definitely not "plussed".

To be "nonplussed" is to be left unable to continue, usually in context of a debate; your opponent has said something that has rendered you unable to give a response, for whatever reason. You can say "no more".

Thus, antonymic terms would include "undaunted", "unfazed", "undeterred", etc.

  • Not nit-picking; just being informative: It's from the Latin, not French (i.e. you pronounce the "s"). – Mark Wallace Jul 13 '11 at 20:15
  • ... and we "Anglicize" other French words as well; French comes from Latin too, so it's all related. However, I think you are right, as my definition implies formal debate, which heavily uses Latin terms. – KeithS Jul 13 '11 at 22:07
  • Just so you know: I too thought of UNFAZED and think it is pretty darn good. Don – rhetorician Dec 12 '14 at 23:58
  • 'Unfazed' is the best answer here, I think. – Edwin Ashworth May 21 '20 at 15:39

I think you'd have to use something like unperplexed.

unperplexed Adj. 1. - experiencing no difficulty or confusion or bewilderment

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    I confess I might be somewhat perplexed myself if I was told someone else was unperplexed. I must get out more and find out what words people are using these days! :) – FumbleFingers Jul 13 '11 at 20:00
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    @FumbleFingers: I didn't say it was common. It's the closest I can come to a direct antonym for nonplussed, however. – Robusto Jul 13 '11 at 20:08
  • And I didn't say it was a bad answer on account of being uncommon. Seriously though (since it should be obvious from the upvotes), I'll come clean and say I liked @Wanda's enlightened better. But per my comment against that, I don't think EL&U is much improved by these synonym/antonym questions. Context is all. – FumbleFingers Jul 13 '11 at 20:31

Who says I can't be plussed? I've read all of the responses to this conundrum and, I must state absolutely, I am not nonplussed by the debate. In fact, I am feeling absolutely plussed and ready for more.

If anybody argues that I can't be plussed, let them prove to me and everybody that they utterly fail to comprehend my intended message.

If the word conveys a clear and certain message then it should be a valid and acceptable tool for communication, even if English teachers are offended.

As Dizzy would state, "He slud into second safe!!!". Seldom has more precise and poetic language ever been applied to vividly portray a story!


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    I have to say that I find your comment most ane. I'm pleased to find someone who is plussed on this matter, and I'm intepid, different, emotionful, nay, I will say consolate to find in you a new-fashioned thinker such as I: brainful, full-baked, sensical, complexminded, and above all, thin-headed. :) – BobRodes May 16 '14 at 22:24
  • This erudition is so 'wildering'. Next - I'll be mumbling spoonerisms and covering my mouth when I whisper. Egad. – user101914 Dec 12 '14 at 21:08
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    The dictionary, for one. Anyone who's a natural-born English speaker and would certainly be confused by the strange imaginary-sounding words you're throwing around, for another. – Slipp D. Thompson Mar 5 '15 at 4:29

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