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

But under seven is a good bet, as the Browns D should confuse Siemian and the Jets (+6.5, -106). Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Cleveland Browns at New York Jets odds, picks and best bets [UPDATED]," 16 Sep. 2019 The problem: The science concerning silica is confusing, to say the least. Olivia Fleming & Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Ultimate Guide to Clean Beauty," 12 Aug. 2019 Perhaps the bigger problem for the Democratic Party, however, was that Mueller appeared confused at times, stumbling over his answers and frequently imploring his questioners to repeat their queries. Anchorage Daily News, "Mueller answers Trump in testimony unlikely to change political dynamic," 25 July 2019 The registration options can, however, confuse a layperson. Itika Sharma Punit, Quartz India, "Want to fly your own drone like Zomato? These YouTubers explain why that won’t be easy," 12 June 2019 But with her casual dress, she could be confused with some of the parents who walk in, uncertainty written all over their faces. Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, "The system took these parents' kids away. Now they're helping other parents get theirs back," 9 June 2019 But we shouldn't be confused about the reality of our current economy, that a bachelor's degree is still the best path. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Former U.S. Secretary of Education John King on what Indianapolis gets right about education," 4 June 2019 National polls have found that the public has been confused by the conclusions of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian election interference and the president’s potential obstruction of justice. Jennifer Haberkorn, Los Angeles Times, "Democrats can’t agree on what to call their impeachment inquiry, and maybe that suits them," 12 Sep. 2019 To this day, I am still devastated and confused by what happened that night. Diane J. Cho, PEOPLE.com, "Todd and Julie Chrisley, The Situation and More Reality Stars Who've Faced Jail Time," 12 Sep. 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

4 Oct 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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