verb (used with object)

to put into a state of agitated confusion: His constant criticism flustered me.
to excite and confuse with drink.

verb (used without object)

to become agitatedly confused.


nervous excitement or confusion.

Origin of fluster

1375–1425; late Middle English flostren; cf. bluster, Old Norse flaustra to hurry
Related formsun·flus·tered, adjective

Synonyms for fluster

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

Examples from the Web for flustered

Contemporary Examples of flustered

Historical Examples of flustered

  • Now, when I'm arrested for speeding, I'm not in the least flustered—oh, not a little bit!

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • "It's all right, Fannie," Aggie said hastily to the flustered maid.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • His waistcoat was red, and he wore knee-breeches, but his aspect was flustered.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • He was too flustered to do more than return the pressure of the small, firm hand.

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

  • I was so flustered and—and tickled to see her that I forgot everything, manners and all.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for flustered



to make or become confused, nervous, or upset


a state of confusion or agitation

Word Origin for fluster

C15: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Icelandic flaustr to hurry, flaustra to bustle
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 flustered



early 15c. (implied in flostyrynge), from a Scandinavian source (cf. Icelandic flaustr "bustle," flaustra "to bustle"). Originally "to excite," especially with drink; sense of "to flurry, confuse" is from 1724. Related: Flustered; flustering. As a noun, 1710, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper