verb (used with object)
Origin of perplex
Examples from the Web for perplexing
The New York Times called the explanations “perplexing” and insufficient.White House Has No International Legal Justification for Hitting ISIS in Syria|Josh Rogin|September 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Now the high court has reversed course, offering a perplexing dilemma and a challenge to the Vatican.Italian Transgender Ruling Gives Green Light to Civil Unions|Barbie Latza Nadeau|June 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Given this perplexing picture, what, if anything, looks like a firm fact?Why Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Must Have Died Instantaneously|Clive Irving|March 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Once again, we are approaching that most solemn and perplexing American social ritual—the Super Bowl party.Your Super Bowl Etiquette Guide From Food to Clothes to What Not to Say|Kelly Williams Brown|February 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Narcocorrido, from across the border, is judged outlandish and perplexing.Are Narcocorrido Mexican Drug Ballads Really That Bad?|Jimmy So|November 24, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Perhaps just this personal element is necessary to give final meaning to what otherwise is so perplexing and even contradictory.Modern Religious Cults and Movements|Gaius Glenn Atkins
He found that perplexing suspicion of priggishness affecting him again.Marriage|H. G. Wells
What perplexing self-contradiction it all seemed to me as I looked around!My Reminiscences|Rabindranath Tagore
But how to reach that necessary degree was a perplexing question.
This selection presents to every librarian and library director or trustee some perplexing problems.A Book for All Readers|Ainsworth Rand Spofford
Word Origin for perplex
late 14c. as an adjective, "perplexed, puzzled, bewildered," from Latin perplexus "involved, confused, intricate;" but Latin had no corresponding verb *perplectere. The Latin compound would be per "through" (see per) + plexus "entangled," past participle of plectere "to twine, braid, fold" (see complex (adj.)).
The form of the English adjective shifted to perplexed by late 15c., probably to conform to other past participle adjectives. The verb is latest attested of the group, in 1590s, evidently a back-formation from the adjective. Related: Perplexing, which well describes the history of the word.