confuse

verb
con·​fuse | \ kən-ˈfyüz \
confused; confusing

Definition of confuse

transitive verb

1 archaic : to bring to ruin
2a : to make embarrassed : abash
b : to disturb in mind or purpose : throw off The directions she gave confused us.
3a : 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".

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Other Words from confuse

confusingly \ kən-​ˈfyü-​ziŋ-​lē \ 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

Others argue that this line of thinking may confuse what’s depressing with what’s complicated. Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 Homosexuality has virtually nothing to do with the rape of children, and misdefining this criminal act confuses the discussion about the priesthood. WSJ, "Deal With the Priests Who Molest the Young," 25 Jan. 2019 And today in totally wacky toy news… Squeezamals (not to be confused with their talkative friends, Hatchimals) apparently are the latest craze to sweep kids' wish lists. Megan Stein, Country Living, "If Your Kids Love Hatchimals They're Going to Freak Over This New Squeezamals Game," 9 Jan. 2019 Even if the full curve does flip, investors shouldn’t confuse cause for effect: Inverted yield curves don’t cause recessions, nor provide new information about the economy. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Inverted Yield Curves Aren’t a Crystal Ball," 4 Dec. 2018 Don’t confuse the Yoga Book C930 with the separate Yoga C930—they’re two entirely different devices, and the latter is a traditional laptop. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Lenovo's dual-display Yoga Book C930 boasts a bigger screen and better 'keyboard'," 30 Aug. 2018 But don't confuse this new waterbed with the Free-Love symbol of the '70s. Dylan Jackson, miamiherald, "The waterbed is making a comeback. No, really.," 7 June 2018 Don’t be confused by last year’s 9-7 record, where the Ravens were in the playoff hunt in Week 17. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "Predicting Every NFL Team’s 2018 Season Record," 7 June 2018 Teens have instinctively gravitated to the two platforms that don’t confuse personal ties with public personas. Jennifer Van Grove, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Is it too late to fix Facebook?," 2 June 2018

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 1

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

8 Feb 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 \
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

Comments on confuse

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