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

Keep scrolling for more

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

This approach discombobulated the Ravens, who were playing with second-year cornerback Anthony Averett in place of injured veteran Jimmy Smith and are still adjusting to the absence of their top nickel cornerback, Tavon Young. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Five Things We Learned from the Ravens’ 23-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals," 16 Sep. 2019 Actually, scratch that too: everything since November 2016 has been discombobulating. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "The world wonders what's happened to America," 10 Aug. 2019 The Bears offense was discombobulated at best for much of the first half. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Rookie running back David Montgomery gives the Bears — and their fans — a taste of the future in his preseason debut," 8 Aug. 2019 The overall experience is hypnotic, discombobulating, and undeniably fun. Benjamin Kemper, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Guide to Spanish Wine Country," 7 Mar. 2018 James and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked discombobulated going up against the younger, more spry Boston Celtics in Game 5. Michael Singer, USA TODAY, "LeBron James shows off uncanny memory with precise recall of all six Game 5 turnovers," 24 May 2018 The lone note of comic relief in Westworld continues to be Lee Sizemore, totally out of his depth and discombobulated when the arrows start flying. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Westworld: A Cut Above," 20 May 2018 The effect is at first exhilarating, then discombobulating, then exhausting. Elisabeth Egan, New York Times, "Love Warrior," 1 June 2018 As a huge fan of VanderMeer’s book (and its subsequent volumes), I was initially discombobulated by Garland’s approach and just how radically different his take on Annihilation was. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Deconstructing Annihilation's Ending," 26 Feb. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of discombobulate

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for discombobulate

probably alteration of discompose

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about discombobulate

Statistics for discombobulate

Last Updated

2 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for discombobulate

The first known use of discombobulate was in 1879

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on discombobulate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with discombobulate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discombobulate

Comments on discombobulate

What made you want to look up discombobulate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


transposition of initial sounds of words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!