confuse

verb

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

transitive verb

1
: to disturb in mind or purpose : throw off
The directions she gave confused us.
2
a
: 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
3
: to make embarrassed : abash
4
archaic : to bring to ruin
confusingly 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Reese Witherspoon’s real name even confuses her co-stars: ‘Oh, that’s right!’ 'WORKING ON IT' - Jelly Roll says his felonies prevent him from booking gigs overseas. Fox News Staff, Fox News, 8 June 2024 Now, the existing remains have been analyzed for the first time, and the results of the testing have confused researchers. Irene Wright, Miami Herald, 4 June 2024 How To Tell the Difference Between the Stomach Flu and Food Poisoning The stomach flu and food poisoning are easy to confuse because the symptoms are almost identical. Stephanie Booth, Health, 2 June 2024 Exhausted, deprived of his medications and confused by the barrage from detectives who took turns berating him, Perez’s mental state began to deteriorate. Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for confuse 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'confuse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

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

Dictionary Entries Near confuse

Cite this Entry

“Confuse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confuse. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

confuse

verb
con·​fuse kən-ˈfyüz How to pronounce confuse (audio)
confused; confusing
1
a
: to make mentally foggy or uncertain : perplex
the complicated problem confused us
b
: to cause to be embarrassed or upset
2
: to make unclear : blur
stop confusing the issue
3
: to make disordered : jumble
the cords were all confused together
4
: to fail to tell apart
teachers always confused the twins
confusedly
-ˈfyüz(-ə)d-lē
adverb
confusingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on confuse

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