- bewildered; puzzled: a perplexed state of mind.
- complicated; involved; entangled.
Origin of perplexed
- to cause to be puzzled or bewildered over what is not understood or certain; confuse mentally: Her strange response perplexed me.
- to make complicated or confused, as a matter or question.
- to hamper with complications, confusion, or uncertainty.
Origin of perplex
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for perplexed
In fact, a number of officers were perplexed that religious freedom was considered to be a serious issue within the service.U.S. Air Force: Swear to God—or Get Out
September 8, 2014
A young Martin, perplexed by this, asked his parents for an explanation.Bigotry Is Back, 60 Years After Brown v. Board of Education
May 17, 2014
But little has perplexed me in recent years quite so much as the supposed miracle that is Soylent.Doc Says No to Soylent
May 13, 2014
But after the fifth consecutive call—the vibration interrupting my conversation with perplexed hosts—I politely stepped away.On the Hunt for Treviño Morales, Zetas Leader
August 6, 2013
The New York Times also quoted Diana Buttu, an Arab-Israeli lawyer who said she was perplexed that Kerry sounded so upbeat.Why Cautious Optimism is the Right Approach to Kerry's Efforts
July 2, 2013
He felt committed for labor; glad was he, very, yet perplexed.
Light of some sort began to dawn on the perplexed faces of the gentlemen.
"But there wasn't any shot," the perplexed and alarmed detective expostulated.Within the Law
Presently he came down again, his face looking drawn and perplexed.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Mr. Blackwell, abashed and perplexed, returned to his companion.Night and Morning, Complete
- to puzzle; bewilder; confuse
- to complicateto perplex an issue
Word Origin and History for perplexed
late 15c., past participle adjective; see perplex. A case of a past participle form attested centuries before the verb (perplex isn't recorded until 17c.). Related: Perplexedly; perplexedness.
late 14c. as an adjective, "perplexed, puzzled, bewildered," from Latin perplexus "involved, confused, intricate;" but Latin had no corresponding verb *perplectere. The Latin compound would be per "through" (see per) + plexus "entangled," past participle of plectere "to twine, braid, fold" (see complex (adj.)).
The form of the English adjective shifted to perplexed by late 15c., probably to conform to other past participle adjectives. The verb is latest attested of the group, in 1590s, evidently a back-formation from the adjective. Related: Perplexing, which well describes the history of the word.