- to perplex or bewilder: The flood of questions confused me.
- to make unclear or indistinct: The rumors and angry charges tended to confuse the issue.
- to fail to distinguish between; associate by mistake; confound: to confuse dates; He always confuses the twins.
- to disconcert or abash: His candor confused her.
- to combine without order; jumble; disorder: Try not to confuse the papers on the desk.
- Archaic. to bring to ruin or naught.
Origin of confuse
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for confused
Unfortunately, the most confused Ebola alarmists had millions of followers: Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter.2014: Revenge of the Creationists
Karl W. Giberson
December 27, 2014
I think he sometimes got it confused, particularly in his storytelling.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
He said his son was confused why he was being pulled over—other cars had been speeding by him—before hanging up the phone.Sharpton Recalls Civil Rights Struggle in DC March Against Police Violence
December 13, 2014
It began when a classmate raised her hand and stated that she was confused about the facts of the case.Dear White People: Well-Meaning Paternalism Is Still Racist
December 9, 2014
The boy feels rejected and confused, and then hits on a Christmas morning solution, delivering a penguin mate for his penguin.How Monty The Penguin Won Christmas: Britain’s Epic, Emotional Commercials
November 16, 2014
He was almost surprised that he recognized it, everything was so confused.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Frederica looked so shy, so confused, when we entered the room, that I felt for her exceedingly.Lady Susan
After that Marian's thought was confused to the point of exasperation.Her Father's Daughter
It was only later on that Winnie obtained from him a misty and confused confession.The Secret Agent
But it was all so confused, I can recollect only some parts of it.Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)
- feeling or exhibiting an inability to understand; bewildered; perplexed
- in a disordered state; mixed up; jumbled
- lacking sufficient mental abilities for independent living, esp through old age
- to bewilder; perplex
- to mix up (things, ideas, etc); jumble
- to make unclearhe confused his talk with irrelevant details
- to fail to recognize the difference between; mistake (one thing) for another
- to disconcert; embarrass
- to cause to become disorderedthe enemy ranks were confused by gas
Word Origin and History for confused
early 14c., "discomfited, routed, defeated" (of groups), serving at first as an alternative past participle of confound, as Latin confusus was the past participle of confundere "to pour together, mix, mingle; to join together;" hence, figuratively, "to throw into disorder; to trouble, disturb, upset." The Latin past participle also was used as an adjective, with reference to mental states, "troubled, embarrassed," and this passed into Old French as confus "dejected, downcast, undone, defeated, discomfited in mind or feeling," which passed to Middle English as confus (14c.; e.g. Chaucer: "I am so confus, that I may not seye"), which then was assimilated to the English past participle pattern by addition of -ed. Of individuals, "discomfited in mind, perplexed," from mid-14c.; of ideas, speech, thought, etc., from 1610s. By mid-16c., the word seems to have been felt as a pure adj., and it evolved a back-formed verb in confuse. Few English etymologies are more confused.
1550s, in literal sense "mix or mingle things so as to render the elements indistinguishable;" attested from mid-18c. in active, figurative sense of "discomfit in mind or feeling;" not in general use until 19c., taking over senses formerly belonging to confound, dumbfound, flabbergast etc. The past participle confused (q.v.) is attested much earlier (serving as an alternative past tense to confound), and the verb here might be a back-formation from it. Related: Confusing.