- 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.
Origin of perplex
SynonymsSee more synonyms for perplex on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for perplexingly
Yet, perplexingly, in many cases, imposing sanctions is perceived to be sufficient to address a complex problem.Why Aren’t Sanctions Stopping Putin?
Meghan L. O’Sullivan
May 13, 2014
Nearly all women are perplexingly interesting as human beings.I, Mary MacLane
Papa was looking almost as perplexingly young as she, and I made up the little party to the number of the Graces.Willing to Die
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
That evidence, as it now lies before us, is perplexingly various both in content and quality.Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death
Frederick W. H. Myers
Cecil rounded one of his perplexingly empty sentences and turned on his heel.Beauchamp's Career, Complete
Certainly, few people were ever more fortunately, or perplexingly placed, than I am just now.Gladys, the Reaper
- to puzzle; bewilder; confuse
- to complicateto perplex an issue
Word Origin and History for perplexingly
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.