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 confusional (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 This is a good idea to help prevent confusion and make those sales go more quickly. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Shoo those birds from the balcony," 14 May 2020 The hospital networks stood on the brink of replicating the fatal confusion of Sept. 11, 2001, when the police and fire departments responding to the attacks at the World Trade Center did not work together or communicate, costing many lives. New York Times, "How the Chaos at Elmhurst Hospital Exposed Health Care’s Fiefdoms," 14 May 2020 Parents are urged to monitor for prolonged fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, bloodshot eyes, skin rash, and change in skin color, difficultly feeding, trouble breathing, racing heart, lethargy, irritability or confusion. Fox News, "NY to resume elective surgeries in more counties, Cuomo says," 13 May 2020 In a matter of seconds the enormous stairway was alive with struggling groups in wild confusion. Bill Van Niekerken,, "Dawn of Bay Area protest movement: 1960 photos show SF ‘riot’ over communist-hunting committee," 13 May 2020 The facts become even more important in finding clarity among the confusion. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Citizen's arrest laws aren't cut and dry. Here's what you need to know," 12 May 2020 K-pop has seen a meteoric rise in visibility in the West in the past three years, and bands have been welcomed with enthusiasm — as well as confusion. Natalie Morin,, "What K-Pop’s Beautiful Men Can Teach Us About Masculinity," 12 May 2020 As in Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation, Florida’s man-eating swamps here represent a mixture of America’s muddy history and the protagonist’s subconscious, which in Capone’s case is swirling with confusion and violence. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Al Capone, All-American Boogeyman," 12 May 2020 Also to be discussed Tuesday is whether preboarding temperature checks will be required of travelers, but again confusion reins. Anchorage Daily News, "Sea-Tac airport announces new mask policy, but big questions remain unanswered," 11 May 2020

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

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Confusion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for confusion


How to pronounce confusion (audio)

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 confusional (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

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