discomfit

verb
dis·​com·​fit | \ dis-ˈkəm(p)-fət How to pronounce discomfit (audio) , especially Southern ˌdis-kəm-ˈfit \
discomfited; discomfiting; discomfits

Definition of discomfit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put into a state of perplexity and embarrassment : disconcert was discomfited by the question
2a : to frustrate the plans of : thwart discomfit our foes
b archaic : to defeat in battle the ground … strewn with the discomfited— Stephen Crane

discomfit

noun

Definition of discomfit (Entry 2 of 2)

: the state of being confused, embarrassed, or upset : discomfiture

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Other Words from discomfit

Verb

discomfitingly \ dis-​ˈkəm(p)-​fə-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce discomfitingly (audio) , ˌdīs-​kəm-​ˈfi-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for discomfit

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for discomfit

Verb

embarrass, discomfit, abash, disconcert, rattle mean to distress by confusing or confounding. embarrass implies some influence that impedes thought, speech, or action. The question embarrassed her so much she couldn't answer discomfit implies a hampering or frustrating accompanied by confusion. Hecklers discomfited the speaker abash presupposes some initial self-confidence that receives a sudden check, producing shyness, shame, or a feeling of inferiority. abashed by her swift and cutting retort disconcert implies an upsetting of equanimity or assurance producing uncertainty or hesitancy. disconcerted by finding so many in attendance rattle implies an agitation that impairs thought and judgment. rattled by all the television cameras

Did You Know?

Verb

Disconcerted by discomfit and discomfort? Here's a little usage history that might help. Several usage commentators have, in the past, tried to convince their readers that discomfit means "to rout" or "to completely defeat" and not "to discomfort, embarrass, or make uneasy." In its earliest uses discomfit did in fact mean "to defeat in battle," but that sense is now rare, and the extended sense, "to thwart," is also uncommon. Most of the recent commentaries agree that the sense "to discomfort or disconcert" has become thoroughly established and is the most prevalent meaning of the word. There is one major difference between discomfit and discomfort, though-discomfit is used almost exclusively as a verb, while discomfort is much more commonly used as a noun than a verb.

Examples of discomfit in a Sentence

Verb constant interruptions discomfited her in her attempt to finish the speech, and she finally gave up he was discomfited by the awkward situation of having his ex-girlfriend meet his current one
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The eighth episode—a flashback that revealed in excruciating detail how Mitch coerced a young booker, Hannah (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), into sleeping with him—was a discomfiting portrait of power at its most insidious. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "What Went Wrong With The Morning Show?," 21 Dec. 2019 What is an audience to make of these discomfiting encounters? Peter Marks, Washington Post, "‘Slave Play’ is a funny, scalding, walk along the boundary between black and white in America," 6 Oct. 2019 Presumably, Tunisians are as discomfited by insects to the same degree as English people are. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, "The Bugs of Volgograd: England-Tunisia Match Attracts Pests," 18 June 2018 Our nervous, shifting, rapidly progressing times deserve a clear look and full access to what came before, however discomfiting. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "Disney Plus premieres a new ‘Lady and the Tramp.’ Maybe it helps to hate the ‘Dumbo,’ ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Lion King’ remakes, but I kind of liked it.," 14 Nov. 2019 This pattern should discomfit Democrats and traditional Republicans alike. The Economist, "Democrats want impeachment hearings to change opinions on Donald Trump," 14 Nov. 2019 An ally was discomfited and yanked around for a couple of months before, ultimately, getting its defense funding. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Best Trump Defense," 1 Nov. 2019 Harvard’s admissions staff consistently gave low scores to Asian-American applicants on personal traits, such as kindness and leadership, a discomfiting fact documented by pages of statistical data released in discovery. BostonGlobe.com, "And the stable percentage of Asian-Americans admitted for years before the lawsuit raised questions about whether Harvard deployed some form of racial quota, barred by the law.," 13 Oct. 2019 All is provisional — a discomfiting proposition at first, but ultimately a relief. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Sonic frequency as art? Enter Steve Roden’s captivating prisms of color," 17 Aug. 2019

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

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for discomfit

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French descumfit, past participle of descumfire, from des- dis- + cumfire to prepare — more at comfit

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Time Traveler for discomfit

Time Traveler

The first known use of discomfit was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

26 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Discomfit.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discomfit. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for discomfit

discomfit

verb
How to pronounce discomfit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of discomfit

formal : to make (someone) confused or upset

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