- to perplex or bewilder: The flood of questions confused me.
- to make unclear or indistinct: The rumors and angry charges tended to confuse the issue.
- to fail to distinguish between; associate by mistake; confound: to confuse dates; He always confuses the twins.
- to disconcert or abash: His candor confused her.
- to combine without order; jumble; disorder: Try not to confuse the papers on the desk.
- Archaic. to bring to ruin or naught.
Origin of confuse
SynonymsSee more synonyms for confuse on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for confuse
Until then, men shall all wearily grow our facial hair, wear flannel, and confuse the hell out of each other out on the streets.How Straight World Stole ‘Gay’: The Last Gasp of the ‘Lumbersexual’
November 12, 2014
One gets the sense that they are wearing a mask to confuse their readers, and even to evade them.Sor Juana: Mexico’s Most Erotic Poet and Its Most Dangerous Nun
November 8, 2014
Stephen Collins is just an actor, of course, and no one should confuse him with a character he played on TV.‘7th Heaven’ Dad Stephen Collins and the Christian Right’s Real Morality Tale
October 8, 2014
This, in fact, is one of their big arguments and it works well to confuse base lines.Our Trip to The Climate War's Ground Zero
September 19, 2014
The increase in recognition of autism spectrum disorders in Western countries continues to confound and confuse.No, Stem Cells Don't Cause Autism
September 11, 2014
If he meant to confuse her, he failed—for she only smiled and said to herself: "They're hazel."Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
None can confuse her identity for a moment with that of any other monument of a dead religion.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
You confuse me, and how can I transact business if I am confused?A Tale of Two Cities
But in his mood of revolt it suited him to confuse the names and the symbols.Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle
H. N. Brailsford
We do not confuse the parts of speech with the categories of Logic.Cratylus
- to bewilder; perplex
- to mix up (things, ideas, etc); jumble
- to make unclearhe confused his talk with irrelevant details
- to fail to recognize the difference between; mistake (one thing) for another
- to disconcert; embarrass
- to cause to become disorderedthe enemy ranks were confused by gas
Word Origin and History for confuse
1550s, in literal sense "mix or mingle things so as to render the elements indistinguishable;" attested from mid-18c. in active, figurative sense of "discomfit in mind or feeling;" not in general use until 19c., taking over senses formerly belonging to confound, dumbfound, flabbergast etc. The past participle confused (q.v.) is attested much earlier (serving as an alternative past tense to confound), and the verb here might be a back-formation from it. Related: Confusing.