confound

verb
con·​found | \ kən-ˈfau̇nd How to pronounce confound (audio) , kän- \
confounded; confounding; confounds

Definition of confound

transitive verb

1 : to throw (a person) into confusion or perplexity tactics to confound the enemy
2a : refute sought to confound his arguments
b : to put to shame : discomfit a performance that confounded the critics
3 : damn
4a : to fail to discern differences between : mix up They implored Charles not to confound the innocent with the guilty …— T. B. Macaulay
b : to increase the confusion of
5a : baffle, frustrate Conferences … are not for accomplishment but to confound knavish tricks.— John Kenneth Galbraith
b archaic : to bring to ruin : destroy
6 obsolete : consume, waste

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from confound

confounder \ kən-​ˈfau̇n-​dər How to pronounce confounder (audio) , kän-​ \ noun
confoundingly \ kən-​ˈfau̇n-​diŋ-​lē How to pronounce confoundingly (audio) , kän-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of confound in a Sentence

The strategy confounded our opponents. The murder case has confounded investigators. The school's team confounded all predictions and won the game. The success of the show confounded critics.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The Chiefs defense confounded by the Niners’ misdirection much of the game got stingy and forced a three-and-out. Washington Post, "Super Rally: Mahomes, Chiefs win Super Bowl with late surge," 3 Feb. 2020 By simply covering the real stop sign with an adversarial stop sign poster or adding stickers to the stop sign, the neural net was confounded. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Turns Out It's Really Easy to Trick Tesla's Autopilot With a Cheap Projector," 31 Jan. 2020 The commission investigators were similarly confounded. Tim Golden, ProPublica, "Operation Encore and the Saudi Connection: A Secret History of the 9/11 Investigation," 23 Jan. 2020 The protagonists are at once fascinated with and confounded by America. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "‘Party of Five’ and ‘Little America’: Immigrant Stories That Get the Job Done," 16 Jan. 2020 Trump was confounded that there were restrictions that prevented the federal government from taking over, the person said. Josh Dawsey, BostonGlobe.com, "White House shifts strategy on California homelessness, opting for more cooperation," 14 Jan. 2020 Last season Portland seemed confounded by New Orleans point guard Jrue Holiday, who upped his game against the Blazers and averaged 27.8 points in the first round. Anne M. Peterson, The Seattle Times, "Back as a 3 seed, Portland looks to avoid another early exit," 11 Apr. 2019 Over the years, there have been a number of all-time great and just plain confounding Grammy awards show performances; during the 2020 telecast Sunday (Jan. 27) night, most of the performances fell somewhere in the middle. Joe Lynch, Billboard, "The 5 Best Performances From the 2020 Grammys," 27 Jan. 2020 Advocates fear the commercialisation of a traditionally non-profit suffix THE OFFER would confound anyone who has ever used a web browser. The Economist, "Unexpected domain A proposed sale of rights to .org web addresses sparks a backlash," 23 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confound.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of confound

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5b

History and Etymology for confound

Middle English confounden "to defeat, destroy, frustrate, bewilder," borrowed from Anglo-French confondre, going back to Latin confundere "to pour together, blend, bring into disorder, destroy, disconcert," from con- con- + fundere "to pour, shed" — more at found entry 5

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about confound

Time Traveler for confound

Time Traveler

The first known use of confound was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for confound

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Confound.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confound. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for confound

confound

verb
How to pronounce confound (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of confound

: to surprise and confuse (someone or something)
: to prove (someone or something) wrong
informal + old-fashioned used as an interjection to express anger or annoyance

confound

verb
con·​found | \ kən-ˈfau̇nd How to pronounce confound (audio) , kän- \
confounded; confounding

Kids Definition of confound

: confuse sense 1 The crime has confounded police.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on confound

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!