See more synonyms for confusion on
  1. the act of confusing.
  2. the state of being confused.
  3. disorder; upheaval; tumult; chaos: The army retreated in confusion.
  4. lack of clearness or distinctness: a confusion in his mind between right and wrong.
  5. perplexity; bewilderment: The more difficult questions left us in complete confusion.
  6. embarrassment or abashment: He blushed in confusion.
  7. Psychiatry. a disturbed mental state; disorientation.
  8. Archaic. defeat, overthrow, or ruin.

Origin of confusion

1300–50; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin confūsiōn- (stem of confūsiō). See confuse, -ion
Related formscon·fu·sion·al, adjectivepre·con·fu·sion, nounre·con·fu·sion, nounsu·per·con·fu·sion, noun

Synonyms for confusion

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for confusion

Contemporary Examples of confusion

Historical Examples of confusion

  • Proclus was covered with confusion, but still seemed half incredulous.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • "He hadn't long to live, anyway," answered the marshal in some confusion.

  • Sidney arrived a little after six, and from that moment the confusion in the sick-room was at an end.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • He started and turned to me a face of confusion—yes, and of worship.

  • Yes, they were like an army of ants that had been suddenly thrown into confusion.


    W. A. Fraser

British Dictionary definitions for confusion


  1. the act of confusing or the state of being confused
  2. disorder; jumble
  3. bewilderment; perplexity
  4. lack of clarity; indistinctness
  5. embarrassment; abashment
Derived Formsconfusional, adjective
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 confusion

late 13c., "overthrow, ruin," from Old French confusion (11c.) "disorder, confusion, shame," from Latin confusionem (nominative confusio) "a mingling, mixing, blending; confusion, disorder," noun of action from confundere "to pour together," also "to confuse" (see confound). Sense of "a putting to shame" (a sort of mental "overthrow") is late 14c. in English, while that of "mental perplexity" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

confusion in Medicine


  1. Impaired orientation with respect to time, place, or person; a disturbed mental state.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.