dis·​con·​cert ˌdis-kən-ˈsərt How to pronounce disconcert (audio)
disconcerted; disconcerting; disconcerts

transitive verb

: to throw into confusion
disconcerting their plans
: to disturb the composure of
were disconcerted by his tone of voice
disconcerting adjective
disconcertingly adverb
disconcertment noun
Choose the Right Synonym for disconcert

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

Examples of disconcert in a Sentence

News of his criminal past has disconcerted even his admirers. we were disconcerted by the unexpected changes to the program
Recent Examples on the Web And for Wood, teaching authentically means assigning writers like Coates - voices unfamiliar, even disconcerting, to students in her lakeside town. Hannah Natanson, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Sep. 2023 In February, Cheryl and Joe Farrell got a disconcerting letter from Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, where, three months earlier, Joe had had a successful back surgery. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Sep. 2023 So maybe the result is that instead of being overtly tragic or horrifying, Hollywoodland is just disconcerting. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Aug. 2023 Related: Travel + Leisure Readers' 10 Favorite Cities in Central and South America of 2023 Such disparities are disconcerting but not uncommon in a country where poverty is endemic and where deep inequities led to a brutal civil war from 1960 to 1996. David Amsden, Travel + Leisure, 19 Aug. 2023 In this dark, twisty comedy of possession and dispossession by the multitalented playwright-actress Brenda Withers, a homeowner (Nael Nacer) finds himself in a disconcerting game of cat-and-mouse with two uninvited visitors (Karl Gregory and Erica Steinhagen). Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 3 Aug. 2023 Throwing firecrackers at the stage, which is kind of disconcerting. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, 20 July 2023 Equally disconcerting has been Netanyahu’s assault on Israeli democracy. Eric Cortellessa, Time, 18 July 2023 The bland concept — extending to designer Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams’s assortment of odd and cumbersome set pieces — is especially disconcerting, in view of some stronger contributions. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 25 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disconcert.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


obsolete French disconcerter, alteration of Middle French desconcerter, from des- dis- + concerter to concert

First Known Use

1632, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of disconcert was in 1632

Dictionary Entries Near disconcert

Cite this Entry

“Disconcert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disconcert. Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


dis·​con·​cert ˌdis-kən-ˈsərt How to pronounce disconcert (audio)
: to disturb the arrangement of : upset
the unexpected event disconcerted their plans
: to disturb the self-control of
your frank stare disconcerted me
disconcertingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on disconcert

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