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

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



the act of confusing or the state of being confused
disorder; jumble
bewilderment; perplexity
lack of clarity; indistinctness
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

Medicine definitions for confusion




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.