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 confusingly (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

Obviously, these three facts are easy to twist and confuse a public not thinking deeply about the issue. Michael Hicks, Indianapolis Star, "Hicks: What's a trade war? We may soon find out.," 10 June 2018 There are also issues with the terminology surrounding self-driving vehicles that can confuse consumers. Anthony Alaniz, Popular Mechanics, "When Are Self-Driving Cars Actually Coming?," 25 Apr. 2019 The 39-year-old immediately clapped back with a back-and-forth exchange that left the troll confused. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Pink Stuns Followers With the Perfect Response to Instagram Trolls," 8 Mar. 2019 The lack of closure surrounding Linda Reagan's heartbreaking death angered and confused Blue Bloods fans. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Reveals Linda Reagan Returned to Give Danny an Important Message," 1 Mar. 2019 Investors would be forgiven for being confused by the messages coming from the Chinese government this week. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Chinese Deleveraging is Dead, Long Live Chinese Deleveraging!," 26 Feb. 2019 While Grey's fans were stoked to catch a glimpse of what's to come, many were instantly confused by the fact that Meredith was visiting her father. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Watch the Most Emotional 'Grey’s Anatomy' Scene So Far in Season 15," 31 Jan. 2019 As the shots rang, the classmates looked at one another, some confused by the sound. New York Times, "‘Are We Going to Die Today?’ Inside a Parkland Classroom as Bullets Flew," 6 June 2018 Not to be confused with atopic dermatitis (also known as eczema), contact dermatitis is a red, itchy rash that can emerge when a substance aggravates your skin in some way, according to the Mayo Clinic. Jessica Toscano, SELF, "Here's What It Means If You Got a Skin Reaction From Your Makeup," 1 Mar. 2019

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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Statistics for confuse

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for confuse

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

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on confuse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with confuse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for confuse

Spanish Central: Translation of confuse

Nglish: Translation of confuse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confuse for Arabic Speakers

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