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

Zaranti said the winter burn should not be confused with boxwood blight, a disease characterized by leaf spots, stem cankers and defoliation. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Polar vortex blamed for browning boxwoods and other trees, shrubs," 9 June 2019 The whole Liverpool debacle last year was confusing to say the least. SI.com, "6 of the Most Exciting Playmakers Available This Summer," 6 June 2019 One paratroop innovation in Normandy was the dropping of dummies which confused the Germans as to where the real landings were to be made. Popular Mechanics, "How the D-Day Invasion Was Planned," 6 June 2019 Hence symptoms like being confused and talking about things that make absolutely zero sense. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "9 Types of Parasomnias That Might Explain That Weird Thing You Do When You Sleep," 5 June 2019 Changes to required distributions Currently, retirees must begin taking taxable withdrawals from their IRAs and retirement accounts no later than age 70½. This half-year requirement is confusing for many, so the new bill raises the age to 72. Ray Martin, CBS News, "Congress' big chance to help workers save for retirement," 4 June 2019 The most powerful nations have occasionally confused their nationalist ambitions for universal ones. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Are You, or Have You Ever Been, an American?," 4 June 2019 This system was used again in 1952, but forecasters feared using the same names to refer to storms, and to spell out words could confuse radio conversations between hurricane hunter airplanes and the Hurricane Center. al.com, "Why do we name hurricanes?," 4 June 2019 Often, because of movies or the media, foster care is misunderstood, and can be confused with or considered a baby step towards adoption. Kate Wehr, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Foster Care, Explained," 4 June 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

14 Jun 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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