flum·​mox ˈflə-məks How to pronounce flummox (audio)
flummoxed; flummoxing; flummoxes

transitive verb

: confuse
He was flummoxed by the legal jargon.
a happy innocent who had been flummoxed by wily city slickersAndy Logan

Did you know?

No one is completely sure where the word flummox comes from, but Charles Dickens was aware of it and used it in his 1837 novel The Pickwick Papers. It became quite common in both British and American English by the end of the 19th century.

Examples of flummox in a Sentence

an actor who's easily flummoxed by any changes in the script
Recent Examples on the Web Carrington said the department was flummoxed by the shooting and could not provide motive for why Norton, who is a mother, might have committed the crime. Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2024 Even the initial users of Facebook were flummoxed by the feature, but that didn’t stop them from using it. Bychris Morris, Fortune, 21 Mar. 2024 The Iron Man star recalled meeting Lowe in history class and being flummoxed by how the St. Elmo's Fire actor was able to successfully juggle both Hollywood and his homework. Emlyn Travis, EW.com, 11 Jan. 2024 Many groups watching the decision are flummoxed by the Arizona wildlife commission’s decision to take up the question of auction vs. raffle arrangements. Andrew McKean, Outdoor Life, 13 Mar. 2024 And then, when the tension was highest, Wilks decided to start running more man-to-man looks. Mahomes, flummoxed to that point in the game, couldn’t believe his luck. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 14 Feb. 2024 Three plays later, on third-and-long, Unitas flummoxed the defense, bringing four wide receivers to the line of scrimmage. Mike Klingaman, Baltimore Sun, 27 Jan. 2024 Both men have sometimes misspoken in ways that flummoxed their audiences and prompted explanations by aides afterwards, and Trump already has been hammering Biden as befuddled or worse. Susan Page, USA TODAY, 24 Jan. 2024 Hellworld finds Bota attempting to inject the proceedings with a Scream-style meta-comedy that will only flummox its audience. Declan Gallagher, EW.com, 19 Oct. 2023

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1836, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flummox was in 1836


Dictionary Entries Near flummox

Cite this Entry

“Flummox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flummox. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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