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verb dis·com·fit \dis-ˈkəm(p)-fət, especially Southern ˌdis-kəm-ˈfit\

Simple Definition of discomfit

  • : to make (someone) confused or upset

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of discomfit

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a archaic :  to defeat in battle b :  to frustrate the plans of :  thwart

  3. 2 :  to put into a state of perplexity and embarrassment :  disconcert

discomfitingly play \dis-ˈkəm(p)-fə-tiŋ-lē, ˌdīs-kəm-ˈfi-\ adverb

Examples of discomfit in a sentence

  1. <constant interruptions discomfited her in her attempt to finish the speech, and she finally gave up>

  2. <he was discomfited by the awkward situation of having his ex-girlfriend meet his current one>

Did You Know?

Disconcerted by discomfit and discomfort? Here's a little usage history that might help. Several usage commentators have, in the past, tried to convince their readers that discomfit means "to rout" or "to completely defeat" and not "to discomfort, embarrass, or make uneasy." In its earliest uses discomfit did in fact mean "to defeat in battle," but that sense is now rare, and the extended sense, "to thwart," is also uncommon. Most of the recent commentaries agree that the sense "to discomfort or disconcert" has become thoroughly established and is the most prevalent meaning of the word. There is one major difference between discomfit and discomfort, though-discomfit is used almost exclusively as a verb, while discomfort is much more commonly used as a noun than a verb.

Origin of discomfit

Middle English, from Anglo-French descumfit, past participle of descumfire, from des- dis- + cumfire to prepare — more at comfit

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of discomfit

embarrass, discomfit, abash, disconcert, rattle mean to distress by confusing or confounding. embarrass implies some influence that impedes thought, speech, or action <embarrassed to admit that she liked the movie>. discomfit implies a hampering or frustrating accompanied by confusion <hecklers discomfited the speaker>. abash presupposes some initial self-confidence that receives a sudden check, producing shyness, shame, or a feeling of inferiority <abashed by her swift and cutting retort>. disconcert implies an upsetting of equanimity or assurance producing uncertainty or hesitancy <disconcerted by finding so many in attendance>. rattle implies an agitation that impairs thought and judgment <rattled by all the television cameras>.



noun dis·com·fit

Definition of discomfit

15th Century

First Known Use of discomfit

15th century

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up discomfit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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disapprove soothe reduce perplex
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