dis·​com·​bob·​u·​late | \ ˌdis-kəm-ˈbä-b(y)ə-ˌlāt How to pronounce discombobulate (audio) \
discombobulated; discombobulating; discombobulates

Definition of discombobulate

transitive verb

: to cause to be in a state of confusion : upset, disorient … inventing cool new ways to discombobulate the old order.— Kurt Andersen Executives of other NHL clubs are hopping mad at St. Louis president Jack Quinn and general manager Ron Caron for once again discombobulating the NHL's salary structure.— Austin Murphy … his determination to discombobulate the bourgeoise was not regarded as a joke.— George Levine — see also discombobulated

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Other Words from discombobulate

discombobulating adjective
If it has been an unsettling season for all NFL players, it has been absolutely discombobulating for the Raiders … — Ron Fimrite Penn sent a discombobulating array of material to incoming freshmen over the summer. — Ben Adler
discombobulation \ ˌdis-​kəm-​ˌbä-​b(y)ə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce discombobulation (audio) \ noun
A winding drive through the rural areas, twisting and turning to the point of discombobulation, until, emerging around a final left turn, a clearing presents itself. — Micah Redfield

Examples of discombobulate in a Sentence

our grandmother seems a bit discombobulated by all of this birthday fuss
Recent Examples on the Web But in fleshing out the list of lures that draw mosquitoes to humans, researchers may be on their way to developing more powerful repellents, including some that could discombobulate the bugs’ navigation skills. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Mosquitoes Find Your Warm Blood So Appealing," 6 Feb. 2020 The café owner known only as Fleabag attends a family dinner at which a wedding is discussed, alcoholism is confronted, and pregnancies are miscarried—all in the space of a few discombobulating minutes. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "So Sad, Can’t Stop Laughing," 4 May 2020 Still, the margin was narrow until Oregon, whose speedy offense had discombobulated Wisconsin, blended a series of free throws with some jumpers to build a comfortable lead. Alan Blinder, New York Times, "4 Top Coaches on the Great Basketball Games You Can Still See," 19 Mar. 2020 Hatchlings are also easily discombobulated by artificial lights, which can lure them inland instead of to the water’s edge. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "COVID-19 Restrictions May Boost Leatherback Sea Turtle Nesting," 24 Apr. 2020 Now is, of course, a discombobulating moment to be writing about marathons. Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, "Learning From a Father-Son Marathon Team," 18 Mar. 2020 Excess price, excess luxury, excess power, and excess, i.e. mind-boggling, organ-discombobulating acceleration. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "How We'd Spec It: Going All Out on a 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S," 5 Mar. 2020 And so the Embassy was discombobulated, disrupted, uncertain. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Ambassador Bill Taylor on Impeachment, Russia, and the Law of the Jungle," 8 Feb. 2020 Visually speaking, Klabin has accomplished something quite special with his directorial debut, The Wave's bright neon palette and giddily discombobulating sense of circular momentum replicating the look and feel of a particularly glorious trip. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to watch (and skip) in theaters and on Amazon Prime this weekend," 17 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discombobulate.' 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 discombobulate

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for discombobulate

probably alteration of discompose

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Time Traveler for discombobulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of discombobulate was in 1879

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Cite this Entry

“Discombobulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discombobulate. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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