late 14c., from Latin stupor "insensibility, numbness, dullness," from stupere "be stunned" (see stupid).
Entries linking to stupor
1540s, "mentally slow, lacking ordinary activity of mind, dull, inane," from French stupide (16c.) and directly from Latin stupidus "amazed, confounded; dull, foolish," literally "struck senseless," from stupere "be stunned, amazed, confounded," from PIE *stupe- "hit," from root *(s)teu- (1) "to push, stick, knock, beat" (see steep (adj.)). Related: Stupidly; stupidness.
Native words for this idea include negative compounds with words for "wise" (Old English unwis, unsnotor, ungleaw), also dol (see dull (adj.)), and dysig (see dizzy (adj.)). Stupid retained its association with stupor and its overtones of "stunned by surprise, grief, etc." into mid-18c. The difference between stupid and the less opprobrious foolish roughly parallels that of German töricht vs. dumm but does not exist in most European languages.
Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education. [Bertrand Russell, paraphrasing Helvétius]
updated on October 18, 2012
someone stole his wallet while he was in a drunken stupor