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

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Other Words from confound

confounder \ kən-​ˈfau̇n-​dər How to pronounce confound (audio) , kän-​ \ noun
confoundingly \ kən-​ˈfau̇n-​diŋ-​lē How to pronounce confound (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web However, the George Washington University law professor worried that losing several high-level individuals can confound the operational efficiency of the bureaucracy. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Military and security experts fear raft of Trump loyalists at DOD could lead to 'mistakes'," 16 Nov. 2020 Ohio State managed to confound Illinois big man Cockburn for most of the game. cleveland, "E.J. Liddell, No. 21 Ohio State basketball powers past No. 14 Illinois 87-81," 16 Jan. 2021 While planning ways to confound and defeat the Buckeyes, Sarkisian also has been scouring the FBS ranks for assistants to fill out his Texas staff. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Steve Sarkisian built out Texas coaching staff as he prepared for national championship game," 11 Jan. 2021 During President Barack Obama’s first term, Democrats had a filibuster-proof 60 votes for a period, and Mr. McConnell still managed to confound Democrats while gradually chipping away at their majority. New York Times, "With Georgia Senate Wins, Democrats Solidify Power in Washington," 7 Jan. 2021 The tests are so sensitive that even a person walking into the room without changing her lab coat might carry viral material on her clothing that would confound the test. Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, "The Plague Year," 28 Dec. 2020 Indeed, some quantum manifestations still confound physicists. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Why I never ‘agree to disagree’ — I just tell you you’re wrong," 22 Dec. 2020 The league’s worst run defense gets worse: The Ravens’ run game was sure to confound the Cowboys. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Dallas Cowboys plagued by missed field goals, no run defense in loss to Baltimore Ravens," 9 Dec. 2020 Hubei, which lags far behind Beijing, Shanghai and other major Chinese administrative divisions in terms of GDP per capita, was the first region to confront a virus that would go on to confound many of the world's most powerful countries. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Leaked documents reveal China's mishandling of the early stages of Covid-19," 30 Nov. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for confound

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for confound

Last Updated

13 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Confound.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confound. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for confound

confound

verb

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.

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