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 Just don’t confuse these tight-knit 49ers as being wrestling-world fake. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: San Francisco 49ers infuse NFL with WWE-level entertainment," 15 Jan. 2020 But claims about difference should not be confused with claims about incommensurability. Peter E. Gordon, The New York Review of Books, "Why Historical Analogy Matters," 7 Jan. 2020 That said, the cheerful self-awareness of The Witcher should not be confused with artlessness. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "Why The Witcher Is Better Than Game of Thrones," 1 Jan. 2020 Similar names aside, hero Judah should not be confused with heroine Judith. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hanukkah table gets a Dairy State twist from a little-known Jewish heroine," 19 Dec. 2019 Under no circumstances should public school at home be confused with a home-education program provided through private funding, generally supplied by parents. Nr Editors, National Review, "Letters," 5 Dec. 2019 Gray’s Reef is little more than a drop in the ocean 19 miles off the Georgia coast, but don’t confuse size for significance. Washington Post, "How a small stretch of ocean stirred a conservation movement," 3 Dec. 2019 The world’s largest money manager is routinely confused with private-equity major Blackstone Group Inc. Fortune, "BlackRockStone? China’s Investors Yawn as Major Foreign Hedge Funds Rush In," 2 Dec. 2019 The world’s largest money manager is routinely confused with private-equity major Blackstone Group Inc. Bloomberg.com, "World’s Most Famous Hedge Funds Get Cold Shoulder in China," 29 Nov. 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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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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Statistics for confuse

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Confuse.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confuse?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=c&file=confus01. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for confuse

confuse

verb
How to pronounce confuse (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for confuse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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