noun con·fu·sion \ kən-ˈfyü-zhən \
|Updated on: 14 Jul 2018
1 : an act or instance of confusing
  • confusion of the issue
2 a : the quality or state of being confused
  • Try to relieve their confusion.
  • mental confusion
b : a confused mass or mixture
  • a confusion of voices


play \kən-ˈfyüzh-nəl, -ˈfyü-zhə-nᵊl\ adjective

Examples of confusion in a Sentence

  1. There is still some confusion as to the time of the meeting.

  2. There is a great deal of confusion about how the system works.

  3. the anxieties and confusions of teenage life

  4. He stared in confusion and disbelief.

  5. There was total confusion when the truck hit the restaurant.

Recent Examples of confusion from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confusion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of confusion

Middle English confusioun "ruin, disgrace, disorder," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French confusiun, borrowed from Latin confūsiōn-, confūsiō "mixing, combining, disorder, consternation," from confud-, variant stem of confundere "to pour together, blend, bring into disorder, destroy, disconcert" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at confound

CONFUSION Defined for English Language Learners


  • : a situation in which people are uncertain about what to do or are unable to understand something clearly

  • : the feeling that you have when you do not understand what is happening, what is expected, etc.

  • : a state or situation in which many things are happening in a way that is not controlled or orderly

CONFUSION Defined for Kids


noun con·fu·sion \ kən-ˈfyü-zhən \
1 : difficulty in understanding or in being able to tell one thing from a similar thing
2 : a feeling or state of uncertainty

Word Root of confusion

The Latin word fundere, meaning “to pour,” and its form fūsus give us the roots fund and fus. Words from the Latin fundere have something to do with pouring. To refund is to pour someone's money back to her or him. Confusion exists when too many things are poured together so that they become uncertain and unclear. A profusion is a great quantity that seems to have been poured forth from a plentiful supply.

Medical Dictionary


noun con·fu·sion \ kən-ˈfyü-zhən \
: disturbance of consciousness characterized by inability to engage in orderly thought or by lack of power to distinguish, choose, or act decisively


play \-zhnəl, -zhən-ᵊl\ adjective

Law Dictionary


noun con·fu·sion
1 in the civil law of Louisiana : a uniting of two interests or rights in property into one — compare merger 1
2 in the civil law of Louisiana : the termination of an obligation by a person acquiring the right from which the obligation arose
3 : the mixing or blending together of goods or commodities so that the individual owners cannot identify their own property called also confusion of goods

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a simultaneous discharge of guns

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