confuse

verb
con·​fuse | \ kən-ˈfyüz How to pronounce confuse (audio) \
confused; confusing

Definition of confuse

transitive verb

1 : to disturb in mind or purpose : throw off The directions she gave confused us.
2a : to make indistinct : blur Stop confusing the issue.
b : to fail to differentiate from an often similar or related other confuse money with comfort Do not confuse the words "flaunt" and "flout".
c : to mix indiscriminately : jumble Their arms, legs, and bodies were confused together, till they resembled … two serpents interlaced.— Thomas Medwin
3a : to make embarrassed : abash
4 archaic : to bring to ruin

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Other Words from confuse

confusingly \ kən-​ˈfyü-​ziŋ-​lē How to pronounce confuse (audio) \ adverb

Examples of confuse in a Sentence

The general was trying to confuse the enemy. The new evidence only confused matters further. You must be confusing me with someone else.
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Recent Examples on the Web Narrowing the booster plan could confuse the public and create a perception that federal vaccine policy is in some degree of disarray. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Sep. 2021 Most crucially, patients and pharmacists shouldn’t easily confuse one drug’s brand name with another. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 24 Aug. 2021 These tablets are very inexpensive, but don't confuse that with cheap. Quentyn Kennemer, Forbes, 24 June 2021 According to Andy Reeder, associate vice president and privacy officer at Rush University Medical Center, people may confuse HIPAA with an individual’s desire to assert personal privacy. Karen Ann Cullotta, chicagotribune.com, 23 Aug. 2021 In high-poverty societies, vulnerable consumers may confuse legitimate fintechs offering savings and investment products with Ponzi schemes run by 21-year olds and styled as investment platforms. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 18 Aug. 2021 Would placing it among other jams and jellies make sense, or confuse shoppers? New York Times, 10 Aug. 2021 These can be acquired by focusing on the important and the essential; too many goals and tasks confuse and take away from the focus. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 15 June 2021 Some people confuse agnosticism (not knowing) with apathy (not caring). John Horgan, Scientific American, 14 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confuse.' 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 confuse

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for confuse

Middle English confusen, back-formation from confused "frustrated, ruined," participle based on Anglo-French confus, borrowed from Latin confūsus, past participle of confundere "to pour together, blend, bring into disorder, destroy, disconcert" — more at confound

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Learn More About confuse

Time Traveler for confuse

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near confuse

confusable

confuse

confused

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Statistics for confuse

Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Confuse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confuse. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for confuse

confuse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of confuse

: to make (someone) uncertain or unable to understand something
: to make (something) difficult to understand
: to mistakenly think that one person or thing is another person or thing : to mistake (one person or thing) for another

confuse

verb
con·​fuse | \ kən-ˈfyüz How to pronounce confuse (audio) \
confused; confusing

Kids Definition of confuse

1 : to make uncertain or unable to understand : perplex The directions confused me and I got lost.
2 : to fail to tell apart Teachers always confused the twins.

More from Merriam-Webster on confuse

Nglish: Translation of confuse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confuse for Arabic Speakers

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