perplex

[ per-pleks ]
/ pərˈplɛks /

verb (used with object)

to cause to be puzzled or bewildered over what is not understood or certain; confuse mentally: Her strange response perplexed me.
to make complicated or confused, as a matter or question.
to hamper with complications, confusion, or uncertainty.

Nearby words

  1. perpetuation,
  2. perpetuity,
  3. perpetuous,
  4. perphenazine,
  5. perpignan,
  6. perplexed,
  7. perplexing,
  8. perplexity,
  9. perquisite,
  10. perrault

Origin of perplex

First recorded in 1585–95; back formation from perplexed

Related formsper·plex·er, nounper·plex·ing·ly, adverbun·per·plex·ing, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for perplexing


British Dictionary definitions for perplexing

perplex

/ (pəˈplɛks) /

verb (tr)

to puzzle; bewilder; confuse
to complicateto perplex an issue

Word Origin for perplex

C15: from obsolete perplex (adj) intricate, from Latin perplexus entangled, from per- (thoroughly) + plectere to entwine

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 perplexing

perplex

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper