confuse

verb con·fuse \ kən-ˈfyüz \
Updated on: 12 Dec 2017

Definition of confuse

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

confusingly

play \kən-ˈfyü-ziŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of confuse in a Sentence

  1. The general was trying to confuse the enemy.

  2. The new evidence only confused matters further.

  3. You must be confusing me with someone else.

Recent Examples of confuse from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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


CONFUSE Defined for English Language Learners

confuse

verb

Definition of confuse for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

confuse

verb con·fuse \ kən-ˈfyüz \

Definition of confuse for Students

confused; confusing
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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