Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

perplexity

[per-plek-si-tee] /pərˈplɛk sɪ ti/
noun, plural perplexities.
1.
the state of being perplexed; confusion; uncertainty.
2.
something that perplexes:
a case plagued with perplexities.
3.
a tangled, involved, or confused condition or situation.
Origin of perplexity
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English perplexite < Old French < Late Latin perplexitās, equivalent to Latin perplex(us) (see perplexed) + -itās -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for perplexity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I know not about that," said the big archer, scratching his head in perplexity.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • In her perplexity, she was appealing to him who was practically a stranger.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Langdon's perplexity was cut short by the cry, "They're off!"

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • But there was no trace of merriment or perplexity in the way he looked at Mr Verloc.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • She hurried to her own apartment, leaving them all in astonishment and perplexity.

  • And it was with a child's look of pitiful dismay and perplexity that he faced the sheriff.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
British Dictionary definitions for perplexity

perplexity

/pəˈplɛksɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
the state of being perplexed
2.
the state of being intricate or complicated
3.
something that perplexes
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for perplexity
n.

c.1300, "bewilderment," from Old French perplexite "confusion, perplexity," from Late Latin perplexitatem (nominative perplexitas), from Latin perplexus "confused, involved, interwoven," from per- "completely" + plexus "entangled," past participle of plectere "to twine" (see complex (adj.)). From 1590s as "something that causes perplexity."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for perplexity

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for perplexity

24
26
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for perplexity