verb dis·com·fit \dis-ˈkəm(p)-fət, especially Southern ˌdis-kəm-ˈfit\

Definition of discomfit

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a archaic :  to defeat in battle <the ground … strewn with the discomfited — Stephen Crane>b :  to frustrate the plans of :  thwart <discomfit our foes>

  3. 2 :  to put into a state of perplexity and embarrassment :  disconcert <was discomfited by the question>


play \dis-ˈkəm(p)-fə-tiŋ-lē, ˌdīs-kəm-ˈfi-\ adverb

Examples of discomfit in a sentence

  1. <constant interruptions discomfited her in her attempt to finish the speech, and she finally gave up>

  2. <he was discomfited by the awkward situation of having his ex-girlfriend meet his current one>

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of discomfit

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

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of discomfit

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 couldnȧt 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>.



noun dis·com·fit

Definition of discomfit

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

Origin and Etymology of discomfit

see 1discomfit

First Known Use: 15th century

DISCOMFIT Defined for English Language Learners



verb dis·com·fit \dis-ˈkəm(p)-fət, especially Southern ˌdis-kəm-ˈfit\

Definition of discomfit for English Language Learners

  • : to make (someone) confused or upset

Seen and Heard

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living or existing naturally in a region

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