to blunt, to get blunt
(In the literal sense of a knife for instance. "stumpf werden" is the idiomatic common choice though.)
Opposite: schärfen
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to get numb to, to get desensitized
(Quite common figurative phrasing the for idea of slowly becoming less sensitive to horrible events. Losing a sensitivity that's good. Think of people in war.)
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Word Family

Root: *stebh-

The core idea of this root was:

stemming, putting down firmly, a solid stem

The theme is definitely a bit vague, but we can see aspects of it in the English offspring

  • step (putting down the foot)
  • staff (putting down a walking aid)
  • staple (originally, this could be a pillar or tree trunk and even a stairstep – basically something you can rest on.)
  • stamp (“put down firmly”)

The word stem, even though it would fit right in here, does not belong to this family and instead comes from a different root.

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