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 The Vikings have a first-time head coach in Dennis Gates, and the U wasn’t flummoxed by the unknowns that come with an inconclusive scouting report. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers’ 3-point shooting sets up easy 85-50 win over Cleveland State," 5 Nov. 2019 His first innings were flummoxing throughout his six playoff starts. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros drop Game 6 of World Series to Nationals," 30 Oct. 2019 The trend has flummoxed BART’s management and caused the rail system’s approval ratings to tank. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "BART searched far and wide for a new fare gate. The solution may come from Muni," 26 Sep. 2019 Playing her throwback serve-and-volley, chip-and-charge game, Taylor Townsend flummoxed the Wimbledon champion Simona Halep and then hung on to close out a tight victory, winning, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4). Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "2019 U.S. Open Highlights: Coco Gauff Wins the Night," 29 Aug. 2019 And Buzz Lightyear is typically flummoxed, a goofy sidekick in need of always proving himself. Chris Erskine, latimes.com, "Now showing: Drive-in theaters, those beacons of gentle summer nights," 3 July 2019 Tim Melville, the soft-tossing right-hander who flummoxed Arizona and Atlanta in his first two starts in a Rockies uniform, didn’t fool the Pirates one bit Saturday night. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies fall to Pirates and the facts tell the story of a struggling baseball team," 31 Aug. 2019 His arm describes a wide arc meant to encompass today’s galaxy of panelists, pundits, vulturous rivals, flummoxed general managers, hoops bloggers: the whole whispery, shouty basketball-industrial complex. SI.com, "The King Maker: Why Rich Paul Will Own the NBA Summer," 12 June 2019 The same wild-eyed action that confused Rodriguez on Tuesday, flummoxed Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma who was prepared to make a backhand play, only to see the ball kick to his left and into the outfield. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "Cardinals’ ‘Twilight Zone’ single baffles Giants; payback for Pence?," 4 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for flummox

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for flummox

The first known use of flummox was in 1836

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More from Merriam-Webster on flummox

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flummox

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flummox

Spanish Central: Translation of flummox

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to engage in dissolute behavior

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