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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 discomfiting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To the troopers, the sight of shoulder-straps was discomfiting.

    The Plow-Woman Eleanor Gates
  • It was discomfiting, that cool, penetrating, searching gaze.

  • The idea of more was discomfiting, yet it was possible that this was only the first of a travelling company.

    A Pair of Schoolgirls Angela Brazil
  • She began to picture new acts of discomfiting adventure, new roads which should be shut to Vine through envy.

    Joanna Godden Sheila Kaye-Smith
  • Eustace had no difficulty in justifying the customs of Luxeuil, and in discomfiting the violence of his accuser.

  • Brougham perceived the opportunity of discomfiting the hated Melbourne, and he pressed it.

    Sixty Years a Queen Sir Herbert Maxwell
  • It has a shrewd trick of grafting sorrows on our joys, and of handicapping success with discomfiting conditions.

    Frenzied Finance Thomas W. Lawson
British Dictionary definitions for discomfiting


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 discomfiting



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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