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 discomfiting

Contemporary Examples of discomfiting

Historical Examples of discomfiting

  • It was discomfiting, that cool, penetrating, searching gaze.

  • "For the object of discomfiting a third adversary," filled in Korynthia.

  • To the troopers, the sight of shoulder-straps was discomfiting.

    The Plow-Woman

    Eleanor Gates

  • Streaker, the housemaid, too, had an attribute of a most discomfiting nature.

    Three Ghost Stories

    Charles Dickens

  • The silence that followed this non-committal remark was most discomfiting.

    Berry And Co.

    Dornford Yates

British Dictionary definitions for discomfiting


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 discomfiting



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