This word might have come from an Old English one meaning “to drive away.”
When something fazes you, it bothers you and makes you visibly worried, scared, confused, or embarrassed.
(rhymes with “daze” and “ways”)
Part of speech:
Verb, the transitive kind: “I can’t believe he let that faze him,” “He won’t be fazed by any of that.”
fazed, fazing, unfazed
How to use it:
This word is casual and relaxed.
Occasionally we use it to talk about potentially upsetting, embarrassing, painful, awkward, or weird stuff that really does get to us. “The injury fazed her, and she lost her confidence.” “The jeers fazed him, and he dropped his note cards.” “Jacob’s transformation into a wolf utterly fazed Charlie, who went white and speechless.”
More often, we use “faze” to talk about things things that don’t get to us. “The injury didn’t faze her; she hobbled right back into school on her crutches.” “The jeers didn’t faze him; he made some jokes and carried on.” “Jacob’s transformation into a wolf didn’t faze her; she petted his furry face.”
You can say someone is fazed (or unfazed) by something, or, less often, fazed at something.
“De Ligt became the most expensive defender in Serie A history when he completed a 75 million euro ($85 million) transfer from Ajax. But the teen is not fazed at the price tag. ‘Of course, when a club buys you for a big amount of money, there’s a lot of pressure, but pressure is normal in football,’ De Ligt said.”
— Daniella Matar, Seattle Times, 19 July 2019
“The stretch of avenues from the Tuileries through the Place de la Concorde and the Élysée Palace to the Grand Palais became something of a walled-off city; no vehicles allowed. It didn’t faze the French, who shrugged and said things were calmer; this was just the way it was now, and would probably be for awhile.”
— Vanessa Friedman, The New York Times, 3 March 2019