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

One could be forgiven for confusing Capernaum, the new film from Lebanese director and actress Nadine Labaki, for a documentary. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "The Stunning Capernaum Tells a Gripping Tale of Refugees in Lebanon," 13 Dec. 2018 What was confusing to me was my impression talking with Dave DeGroot is that there were a number of other towns in the running. Josh Dzieza, The Verge, "An interview with Reply All’s Sruthi Pinnamaneni," 6 Dec. 2018 The Duke of Sussex, for example, has a tendency to turn the lights off, which confused the Duchess at first, but the practice is for a good cause. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Was Surprised by Prince Harry's Secret Habit, Which Is Actually Good for the Environment," 8 Nov. 2018 Packaging contributes to a massive carbon footprint and creates an overwhelming amount of waste, which often confuses the consumer, given that recyclability of packaging varies from locale to locale. Good Housekeeping, "Frequently Asked Questions About Good Housekeeping's Sustainability Awards," 7 Nov. 2018 This is wishful thinking, confusing what activists are hankering for with what marginal Democratic voters might want. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 For half a century, the water has been fed into the aqueducts by giant southern delta pumps that have reversed San Joaquin River flows, confusing migrating baby salmon. George Skelton, latimes.com, "What do Southern Californians really get out of Gov. Jerry Brown's twin tunnels project?," 12 July 2018 Russell said the technology EAGL uses is more accurate than what has been available previously because the sensors don't confuse gunshots with other loud noises, such as fireworks. Ivan Moreno, The Christian Science Monitor, "Wisconsin schools to roll out gunshot detection sensors," 26 June 2018 Don't swerve to avoid hitting a deer, which can cause your vehicle to flip and may confuse the deer where to run. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Be wary of these NC natural wonders this summer," 25 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

11 Jan 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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