- to perplex or amaze, especially by a sudden disturbance or surprise; bewilder; confuse: The complicated directions confounded him.
- to throw into confusion or disorder: The revolution confounded the people.
- to throw into increased confusion or disorder.
- to treat or regard erroneously as identical; mix or associate by mistake: truth confounded with error.
- to mingle so that the elements cannot be distinguished or separated.
- to damn (used in mild imprecations): Confound it!
- to contradict or refute: to confound their arguments.
- to put to shame; abash.
- to defeat or overthrow.
- to bring to ruin or naught.
- Obsolete. to spend uselessly; waste.
Origin of confound
SynonymsSee more synonyms for confound on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for confounding
But it is unfounded fear by an American public at minimal risk of contracting the illness that is confounding those efforts.Quarantine Turns Ebola Heroes Into Pariahs
October 28, 2014
They were simply seen as easy, wealthy targets, confounding local conventions of the time.Every Viking ‘Fact’ Is Wrong
March 19, 2014
One of the most confounding aspects of the process, these officials say, is why the State Department is seen as largely untouchéd.Exclusive: How the State Department Escaped the Shutdown
Josh Rogin, Eli Lake
October 8, 2013
Margaret Thatcher was a woman: a confounding, irrepressible, flirtatious, stubborn, certitudinous, unabashedly conservative woman.How Margaret Thatcher Transformed British Politics
April 8, 2013
Whether those increases are because of environmental exposures or from other confounding variables is difficult to determine.Can Certain Jobs Cause Breast Cancer? A New Study Suggests Yes
November 21, 2012
It seemed to me that he was confounding cause with effect; but I did not argue the point.The Stark Munro Letters
J. Stark Munro
But to my solitary eye the spectacle was an amazing and confounding one.The Frozen Pirate
W. Clark Russell
This may have partly arisen from confounding it with his previous voyage in 1536.
There is no merging of one thing in another, no confounding of things that differ.The Lord's Coming
C. H. (Charles Henry) Mackintosh
Love brought about the transformation, the effects of which are now confounding you.The Bee Hunters
- to astound or perplex; bewilder
- to mix up; confuse
- to treat mistakenly as similar to or identical with (one or more other things)
- (kɒnˈfaʊnd) to curse or damn (usually as an expletive in the phrase confound it!)
- to contradict or refute (an argument, etc)
- to rout or defeat (an enemy)
- obsolete to waste
Word Origin and History for confounding
c.1300, "make uneasy, abash," from Anglo-French confoundre, Old French confondre (12c.) "crush, ruin, disgrace, throw into disorder," from Latin confundere "to confuse," literally "to pour together, mix, mingle," from com- "together" (see com-) + fundere "to pour" (see found (v.2)).
The figurative sense of "confuse, fail to distinguish, mix up" emerged in Latin, passed into French and thence into Middle English, where it is mostly found in Scripture; the sense of "destroy utterly" is recorded in English from c.1300. Meaning "perplex" is late 14c. The Latin past participle confusus, meanwhile, became confused (q.v.).