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 Day-to-day, week-to-week and month-to-month changes, along with regional differences, will continue to confound business planning. Pamela N. Danziger, Forbes, 11 Apr. 2021 Providing this kind of transparency can make owners more attractive to insurers, and in the inevitable event that there is a loss, these tools can come to the rescue in court to confound claims of gross negligence. Daniel Cunningham, Forbes, 6 May 2021 Eventually Rommel got to command a pretty big force in North Africa, the Afrika Korps, and this is where he becomes known as the Desert Fox based on surprise maneuvers, rapid attacks, nighttime marches that confound the enemy. Time, 7 May 2021 Some members of our family have now been vaccinated, while others (mostly younger members in their 20s to 50s) have not yet -- or may never be vaccinated, for reasons that confound me. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 30 Apr. 2021 Changes made to the self-driving car that impact any of those factors are going to potentially confound the AI driving system. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 10 Apr. 2021 Those numbers confound the new breed of experts, whose reliance on statistics often leads them to absurdities. Fay Vincent, WSJ, 31 Mar. 2021 That will likely frustrate bubble watchers, and confound those who rightly note the yawning divide between capital and labor. Zachary Karabell, Time, 8 Mar. 2021 There are still many unknowns, and even the most familiar objects, like Cygnus X-1, can still confound scientists. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 4 Mar. 2021

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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Learn More about confound

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 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Confound.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confound. Accessed 14 Jun. 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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