confuse

[ kuhn-fyooz ]
/ kənˈfyuz /

verb (used with object), con·fused, con·fus·ing.

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.

Nearby words

  1. confrontative,
  2. confrère,
  3. confucian,
  4. confucianism,
  5. confucius,
  6. confused,
  7. confused elderly,
  8. confused flour beetle,
  9. confusing,
  10. confusion

Origin of confuse

back formation from confused (since early 19th century), Middle English confused < Anglo-French confus (with -ed -ed2 maintaining participial sense) < Latin confūsus, past participle of confundere; see confound

Related forms

Synonym study

1. Confuse, disconcert, embarrass imply temporary interference with the clear working of one's mind. To confuse is to produce a general bewilderment: to confuse someone by giving complicated directions. To disconcert is to disturb one's mind by irritation, perplexities, etc.: to disconcert someone by asking irrelevant questions. To embarrass is to cause one to be ill at ease or uncomfortable, so that one's usual judgment and presence of mind desert one: to embarrass someone by unexpected rudeness.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for confused


British Dictionary definitions for confused

confused

/ (kənˈfjuːzd) /

adjective

feeling or exhibiting an inability to understand; bewildered; perplexed
in a disordered state; mixed up; jumbled
lacking sufficient mental abilities for independent living, esp through old age
Derived Formsconfusedly (kənˈfjuːzɪdlɪ, -ˈfjuːzd-), adverbconfusedness, noun

confuse

/ (kənˈfjuːz) /

verb (tr)

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
Derived Formsconfusable, adjective, nounconfusability, noun

Word Origin for confuse

C18: back formation from confused, from Latin confūsus mingled together, from confundere to pour together; see confound

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

Word Origin and History for confused
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper