verb (used with object)

to confuse and deject; disconcert: to be discomfited by a question.
to frustrate the plans of; thwart; foil.
Archaic. to defeat utterly; rout: The army was discomfited in every battle.


Archaic. rout; defeat.

Origin of discomfit

1175–1225; Middle English < Anglo-French descunfit, Old French desconfit, past participle of desconfire, equivalent to des- dis-1 + confire to make, accomplish < Latin conficere; see confect
Related formsdis·com·fit·er, nounun·dis·com·fit·ed, adjective
Can be confuseddiscomfit discomfort

Synonyms for discomfit

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

Examples from the Web for discomfit

Historical Examples of discomfit

  • And thus did you discomfit the dark designs of your enemies.

    The Oxford Reformers

    Frederic Seebohm

  • He had not known that a wisp of a girl could so discomfit a man.

    Dennison Grant

    Robert Stead

  • If this were all that Shaynon could have trumped up to discomfit him—!

    The Day of Days

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • It was supposed that the banquet was given to test the duke's popularity and to discomfit the Protestants and exclusionists.

    Old and New London

    Walter Thornbury

  • Yet a little piece of statistics may serve to discomfit those who are incredulous on this point.

British Dictionary definitions for discomfit


verb (tr)

to make uneasy, confused, or embarrassed
to frustrate the plans or purpose of
archaic to defeat in battle
Derived Formsdiscomfiter, noundiscomfiture, noun

Word Origin for discomfit

C14: from Old French desconfire to destroy, from des- (indicating reversal) + confire to make, from Latin conficere to produce; see confect
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 discomfit

c.1200, as an adjective, from Old French desconfit "vanquished, defeated," past participle of desconfire "to defeat, destroy," from des- "not" (see dis-) + confire "make, prepare, accomplish," from Latin conficere (see confection).

Used as a verb in English from c.1300. Weaker sense of "disconcert" is first recorded 1520s in English, probably by confusion with discomfort. Related: Discomfited; discomfiting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper