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verb con·found \kən-ˈfau̇nd, kän-\

Simple Definition of confound

  • : to surprise and confuse (someone or something)

  • : to prove (someone or something) wrong

  • —used as an interjection to express anger or annoyance

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of confound

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a archaic :  to bring to ruin :  destroy b :  baffle, frustrate <conferences … are not for accomplishment but to confound knavish tricks — J. K. Galbraith>

  3. 2 obsolete :  consume, waste

  4. 3 a :  to put to shame :  discomfit <a performance that confounded the critics> b :  refute <sought to confound his arguments>

  5. 4 :  damn

  6. 5 :  to throw (a person) into confusion or perplexity

  7. 6 a :  to fail to discern differences between :  mix up b :  to increase the confusion of

confounder play \-ˈfau̇n-dər\ noun
confoundingly play \-diŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of confound in a sentence

  1. The strategy confounded our opponents.

  2. The murder case has confounded investigators.

  3. The school's team confounded all predictions and won the game.

  4. The success of the show confounded critics.

Origin of confound

Middle English, from Anglo-French confundre, from Latin confundere to pour together, confuse, from com- + fundere to pour — more at found

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of confound

puzzle, perplex, bewilder, distract, nonplus, confound, dumbfound mean to baffle and disturb mentally. puzzle implies existence of a problem difficult to solve <the persistent fever puzzled the doctor>. perplex adds a suggestion of worry and uncertainty especially about making a necessary decision <a behavior that perplexed her friends>. bewilder stresses a confusion of mind that hampers clear and decisive thinking <a bewildering number of possibilities>. distract implies agitation or uncertainty induced by conflicting preoccupations or interests <distracted by personal problems>. nonplus implies a bafflement that makes orderly planning or deciding impossible <the remark left us utterly nonplussed>. confound implies temporary mental paralysis caused by astonishment or profound abasement <the tragic news confounded us all>. dumbfound suggests intense but momentary confounding; often the idea of astonishment is so stressed that it becomes a near synonym of astound <was at first too dumbfounded to reply>.

CONFOUND Defined for Kids


verb con·found \kən-ˈfau̇nd, kän-\

Definition of confound for Students


  1. :  confuse 1 <The crime has confounded police.>

Seen and Heard

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tending to dismiss important matters

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soothe reduce perplex disapprove
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