con·​fu·​sion | \ kən-ˈfyü-zhən How to pronounce confusion (audio) \

Definition of confusion

1 : an act or instance of confusing confusion of the issue
2a : the quality or state of being confused Try to relieve their confusion. mental confusion
b : a confused mass or mixture a confusion of voices

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Other Words from confusion

confusional \ kən-​ˈfyüzh-​nəl How to pronounce confusion (audio) , -​ˈfyü-​zhə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of confusion in a Sentence

There is still some confusion as to the time of the meeting. There is a great deal of confusion about how the system works. the anxieties and confusions of teenage life He stared in confusion and disbelief. There was total confusion when the truck hit the restaurant.
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Recent Examples on the Web The mistake led to confusion as to the correct way to interpret findings of efficacy. NBC News, "FDA wants 'significant' amount of extra data on AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine," 30 Apr. 2021 In doing so, the fight scenes are robbed of rhythm and give way to confusion, making the action and reaction of each moment of potential violence difficult to follow. Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture, "Mortal Kombat Is Hollywood’s Latest Disappointing Action Film," 30 Apr. 2021 Countries such as the UK and Canada that are delaying administration of the second doses of these vaccines are adding to the confusion, the story states. Robin Lloyd, Scientific American, "Coronavirus News Roundup, April 24–April 30," 30 Apr. 2021 NewsNation still runs entertainment programming during the day, likely adding to consumer confusion. Stephen Battaglio Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "NewsNation promised an ‘unbiased’ alternative to Fox, CNN. What went wrong?," 28 Apr. 2021 And grieving families may be hiding COVID connections as well, adding to the confusion in this enormous nation of 1.4 billion., "As COVID-19 devastates India, deaths go undercounted," 24 Apr. 2021 But the Biden White House has at times failed to clarify things that the president has said or has contributed to the confusion surrounding some of its policy rollouts. Sarah Westwood, Washington Examiner, "Biden's team spends first 100 days in constant messaging cleanup mode," 21 Apr. 2021 Chaos and confusion again enveloped the Twins ahead of batting practice for the series opener at the Los Angeles Angels. Megan Ryan, Star Tribune, "Twins dodge a COVID curveball before series opener in Anaheim," 16 Apr. 2021 For top talent, the industry offers great opportunities and seemingly limitless potential for growth and promotion but also chaos and confusion. Wajid Mirza, Forbes, "Championing Technology Careers With Talent Advocacy," 19 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of confusion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for confusion

Time Traveler

The first known use of confusion was in the 14th century

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Statistics for confusion

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Confusion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for confusion



English Language Learners Definition of confusion

: 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


con·​fu·​sion | \ kən-ˈfyü-zhən How to pronounce confusion (audio) \

Kids Definition of confusion

1 : difficulty in understanding or in being able to tell one thing from a similar thing
2 : a feeling or state of uncertainty


con·​fu·​sion | \ kən-ˈfyü-zhən How to pronounce confusion (audio) \

Medical Definition of confusion

: disturbance of consciousness characterized by inability to engage in orderly thought or by lack of power to distinguish, choose, or act decisively

Other Words from confusion

confusional \ -​zhnəl, -​zhən-​ᵊl How to pronounce confusion (audio) \ adjective

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Legal Definition of confusion

1 in the civil law of Louisiana : a uniting of two interests or rights in property into one — compare merger sense 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

Comments on confusion

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