flummox

verb
flum·​mox | \ ˈflə-məks How to pronounce flummox (audio) , -miks\
flummoxed; flummoxing; flummoxes

Definition of flummox

transitive verb

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

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Did You Know?

No one is completely sure where the word flummox comes from, but we do know that its first known use is found in Charles Dickens' 1837 novel The Pickwick Papers and that it had become quite common in both British and American English by the end of the 19th century. One theory expressed by some etymologists is that it was influenced by "flummock," a word of English dialectical origin used to refer to a clumsy person. This "flummock" may also be the source of the word lummox, which also means "a clumsy person."

Examples of flummox in a Sentence

an actor who's easily flummoxed by any changes in the script

Recent Examples on the Web

Asian institutions in particular are flummoxed by the Brexit chaos. The Economist, "London’s reign as the world’s capital of capital is at risk," 29 June 2019 Houses around the Great Lakes can vary dramatically in vintage and design and might flummox pricing algorithms. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "The Future of Housing Rises in Phoenix," 19 June 2019 In total, the Seminoles only put five men on base — Henry hit batters to start the fifth and sixth innings but pitched around them with ease — and the rest of the lineup wasn't a match for Henry, who flummoxed them with an outstanding changeup. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's Tommy Henry twirls 3-hit gem in 2-0 win at College World Series," 13 June 2019 San Diego’s Eric Lauer became the latest lefty to flummox the Phillies. Scott Lauber, https://www.inquirer.com, "Andrew McCutchen is out with torn ACL, Adam Haseley is on the way, and the Phillies are a mess | Extra Innings," 4 June 2019 This dominance of Indian-Americans on spelling scene has flummoxed viewers. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Karmadharaya, thymele, and tjaele: Words from the Spelling Bee’s 8-way-tie finish," 31 May 2019 Shinnecock Hills’ small greens, dense rough and all that wind have flummoxed the world’s best all day. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Bryson DeChambeau, the Game’s Ultimate Tactician, Tested in Opening Round at Shinnecock," 14 June 2018 Now that Frontier Airlines has introduced tipping for flight attendants, the public is really flummoxed. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "A Few Rules for a World of Tipping Just About Everyone," 14 Feb. 2019 Especially after the second inning, when the Tigers' young right-hander amped up the bite on his breaking ball and flummoxed the Rangers the next five innings. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers bet on Michael Fulmer can pay off in ace or prospects," 9 July 2018

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

1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flummox

origin unknown

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Dictionary Entries near flummox

flummadiddle

flummer

flummery

flummox

flummoxed

flump

flung

Statistics for flummox

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flummox

The first known use of flummox was in 1836

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More from Merriam-Webster on flummox

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flummox

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flummox

Spanish Central: Translation of flummox

Comments on flummox

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