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[dis-kuhm-fit] /dɪsˈkʌm fɪt/
verb (used with object)
to confuse and deject; disconcert:
to be discomfited by a question.
to frustrate the plans of; thwart; foil.
Archaic. to defeat utterly; rout:
The army was discomfited in every battle.
Archaic. rout; defeat.
Origin of discomfit
1175-1225; Middle English < Anglo-French descunfit, Old French desconfit, past participle of desconfire, equivalent to des- dis-1 + confire to make, accomplish < Latin conficere; see confect
Related forms
discomfiter, noun
undiscomfited, adjective
Can be confused
discomfit, discomfort.
1. discompose, embarrass, disturb. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for discomfit
Historical Examples
  • "The reason is not far to seek," I answered, more to myself than her, as I ran down the stairs to discomfit that old man.

    Erema R. D. Blackmore
  • And thus did you discomfit the dark designs of your enemies.

    The Oxford Reformers Frederic Seebohm
  • Hereupon the proper thing is for something very harsh to break in, and discomfit all the wandering vision of earthly happiness.

    Cripps, the Carrier R. D. (Richard Doddridge) Blackmore
  • He had not known that a wisp of a girl could so discomfit a man.

    Dennison Grant Robert Stead
  • Buail to strike, trom heavy—trom-buail to smite sore, discomfit.

    Elements of Gaelic Grammar Alexander Stewart
  • It was supposed that the banquet was given to test the duke's popularity and to discomfit the Protestants and exclusionists.

    Old and New London Walter Thornbury
  • But it cannot be said that anything much happened to discomfit the publishing houses of little faith.

  • Yet a little piece of statistics may serve to discomfit those who are incredulous on this point.

  • The patriarch and the bishops did not seek to discomfit me by learned arguments or flimsy excuses.

  • It contained a small table and a stove, the latter of diminutive size, but smoky enough to discomfit a host.

British Dictionary definitions for discomfit


verb (transitive)
to make uneasy, confused, or embarrassed
to frustrate the plans or purpose of
(archaic) to defeat in battle
Derived Forms
discomfiter, noun
discomfiture, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French desconfire to destroy, from des- (indicating reversal) + confire to make, from Latin conficere to produce; see confect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for discomfit

c.1200, as an adjective, from Old French desconfit "vanquished, defeated," past participle of desconfire "to defeat, destroy," from des- "not" (see dis-) + confire "make, prepare, accomplish," from Latin conficere (see confection).

Used as a verb in English from c.1300. Weaker sense of "disconcert" is first recorded 1520s in English, probably by confusion with discomfort. Related: Discomfited; discomfiting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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