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.

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 (1 of 2)

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 Forms

confusedly (kənˈfjuːzɪdlɪ, -ˈfjuːzd-), adverbconfusedness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for confused (2 of 2)

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 Forms

confusable, 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