Confused



[kuh n-fyooz] /kənˈfyuz/

verb (used with object), confused, confusing.
1.
to perplex or bewilder:
The flood of questions confused me.
2.
to make unclear or indistinct:
The rumors and angry charges tended to confuse the issue.
3.
to fail to distinguish between; associate by mistake; confound:
to confuse dates; He always confuses the twins.
4.
to disconcert or abash:
His candor confused her.
5.
to combine without order; jumble; disorder:
Try not to confuse the papers on the desk.
6.
Archaic. to bring to ruin or naught.
/kənˈfjuːzd/
adjective
1.
feeling or exhibiting an inability to understand; bewildered; perplexed
2.
in a disordered state; mixed up; jumbled
3.
lacking sufficient mental abilities for independent living, esp through old age
/kənˈfjuːz/
verb (transitive)
1.
to bewilder; perplex
2.
to mix up (things, ideas, etc); jumble
3.
to make unclear: he confused his talk with irrelevant details
4.
to fail to recognize the difference between; mistake (one thing) for another
5.
to disconcert; embarrass
6.
to cause to become disordered: the enemy ranks were confused by gas
adj.

early 14c., “discomfited, routed, defeated” (of groups), serving at first as an alternative past participle of confound, as Latin confusus was the past participle of confundere “to pour together, mix, mingle; to join together;” hence, figuratively, “to throw into disorder; to trouble, disturb, upset.” The Latin past participle also was used as an adjective, with reference to mental states, “troubled, embarrassed,” and this passed into Old French as confus “dejected, downcast, undone, defeated, discomfited in mind or feeling,” which passed to Middle English as confus (14c.; e.g. Chaucer: “I am so confus, that I may not seye”), which then was assimilated to the English past participle pattern by addition of -ed. Of individuals, “discomfited in mind, perplexed,” from mid-14c.; of ideas, speech, thought, etc., from 1610s. By mid-16c., the word seems to have been felt as a pure adj., and it evolved a back-formed verb in confuse. Few English etymologies are more confused.
v.

1550s, in literal sense “mix or mingle things so as to render the elements indistinguishable;” attested from mid-18c. in active, figurative sense of “discomfit in mind or feeling;” not in general use until 19c., taking over senses formerly belonging to confound, dumbfound, flabbergast etc. The past participle confused (q.v.) is attested much earlier (serving as an alternative past tense to confound), and the verb here might be a back-formation from it. Related: Confusing.

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  • Confusedly

    [kuh n-fyooz] /kənˈfyuz/ verb (used with object), confused, confusing. 1. to perplex or bewilder: The flood of questions confused me. 2. to make unclear or indistinct: The rumors and angry charges tended to confuse the issue. 3. to fail to distinguish between; associate by mistake; confound: to confuse dates; He always confuses the twins. 4. […]

  • Confusing

    [kuh n-fyoo-zing] /kənˈfyu zɪŋ/ adjective 1. causing or tending to cause : a confusing attempt at explanation. [kuh n-fyooz] /kənˈfyuz/ verb (used with object), confused, confusing. 1. to perplex or bewilder: The flood of questions confused me. 2. to make unclear or indistinct: The rumors and angry charges tended to confuse the issue. 3. to […]



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