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 strategy also has confounded many industry observers for seeming to take hold with a movie that appears most suited for a theatrical release. cleveland.com, "Amazon Studios, once the anti-Netflix, appears to be turning into it," 16 Sep. 2019 His elite repertoire was confounding to begin with, and that motion — along with his masterful method of hiding the ball until the very last moment — set him apart from everyone else in the game. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Cueto returns, and it’s as if he never left," 10 Sep. 2019 And this might confound your expectations, but the diesel is smoother than the gas engine. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 Offers a Tough Choice: Gas or Diesel?," 8 Sep. 2019 But the shifting track confounded public officials, who wrestled with whether to declare mandatory evacuations. Anchorage Daily News, "Hurricane Dorian’s unpredictable path has officials, residents in four states unsettled," 1 Sep. 2019 But the third course confounded me — the exceptionally fresh and creamy spot prawn, blended with soy milk, Cointreau and orange juice and topped with beet gelatin, was even better than the three star dishes. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Get ready for a long night — and to have your mind blown — at Arama," 15 Aug. 2019 His injury issues and unorthodox play at defensive tackle, however, confounded his coaches. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals release former first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche," 27 July 2019 Indeed, some estimates suggest that loneliness raises risk of mortality by nearly 30 percent — as much as obesity — even when controlling for confounding factors like age and depression. Quanta Magazine, "New Evidence for the Necessity of Loneliness," 10 May 2016 Even geologists are often confounded by its appearance. Rob Arnold, National Geographic, "New plastic pollution formed by fire looks like rocks," 16 Aug. 2019

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

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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