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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The case for more aggressive deficit spending in the world’s third-largest economy rests on some confounding facts. Kosaku Narioka, WSJ, "For Some in Japan, Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt Doesn’t Sound So Bad," 30 Mar. 2019 Among those confounding, assumption-defying larger metros is Oklahoma City. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "In America’s ‘geography of despair,’ how to help the left-behind places?," 21 Nov. 2018 These final standoffs go from tense standoffs to Loony Tunes-esque comedy, as players magically construct brick walls to confound their opponents and towers to snipe from. Joshua Rivera, GQ, "Fortnite Is the Unstoppable Free Game You Should Be Playing Right Now," 10 Mar. 2018 Its purpose is to confound Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, James Comey, and others with spurious legal accusations that would paralyze their ability to investigate the president. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Law Enforcement Purge Is Now Republican Policy," 30 Jan. 2018 The outfit, along with his thick beard, has a way of confounding expectations. Kyle Peterson, WSJ, "An Astronomer’s View of the Christmas Sky," 21 Dec. 2018 Those searching for clues as to whether Trump has a shot at ever forging a new relationship with North Korea may come away from this book as confounded as ever. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "New book: Insider's account of North Korea reveals why Trump may be forever disappointed," 29 May 2018 Instead] of playing a politician, Cynthia Nixon has decided to become one, a choice many have found confounding. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: How James Comey’s battles with the Bush White House prepared him to stand up to Trump," 16 Apr. 2018 The Enquirer/Cara Owsley Nearly a year after the fatal shooting that confounded and dismayed so many, two arrests have been made in the death of 9-year-old Alexandrea Thompson. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "Pair accused of fatally shooting 9-year-old Alexandrea 'Sissy' Thompson arraigned," 11 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for confound

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for confound

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on confound

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with confound

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for confound

Spanish Central: Translation of confound

Nglish: Translation of confound for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confound for Arabic Speakers

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