flus·​ter | \ ˈflə-stər How to pronounce fluster (audio) \
flustered; flustering\ ˈflə-​st(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce flustering (audio) \

Definition of fluster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put into a state of agitated confusion : upset The speaker was obviously flustered by the interruption. "Now don't overexcite yourself, Grandpa," Mrs. Bucket said. "And don't fluster poor Charlie. We must all try to keep very calm."— Roald Dahl
2 : to make tipsy There is much that is, in truth, dishonest even in honest play. A man who can keep himself sober after dinner plays [cards] with one who flusters himself with drink.— Anthony Trollope



Definition of fluster (Entry 2 of 2)

: a state of agitated confusion They had been talking about it for days, and when they were getting ready to go out they were all in a fluster.— Louise Fitzhugh

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for fluster


discompose, disquiet, disturb, perturb, agitate, upset, fluster mean to destroy capacity for collected thought or decisive action. discompose implies some degree of loss of self-control or self-confidence especially through emotional stress. discomposed by the loss of his beloved wife disquiet suggests loss of sense of security or peace of mind. the disquieting news of factories closing disturb implies interference with one's mental processes caused by worry, perplexity, or interruption. the discrepancy in accounts disturbed me perturb implies deep disturbance of mind and emotions. perturbed by her husband's strange behavior agitate suggests obvious external signs of nervous or emotional excitement. in his agitated state we could see he was unable to work upset implies the disturbance of normal or habitual functioning by disappointment, distress, or grief. the family's constant bickering upsets the youngest child fluster suggests bewildered agitation. his declaration of love completely flustered her

Examples of fluster in a Sentence

Verb The interruption flustered the speaker. Some speakers fluster more easily than others. Noun all the yelling on the bus put the driver in a fluster there was a palpable fluster in the audience when I asked my awkward question
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In PvP, being able to jump around and fluster an enemy player without losing control of your crosshairs, however briefly, is a clear advantage. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "Sony’s Back Button Attachment is finally back in stock, so here’s our review," 9 June 2020 Two nights after flustering LeBron James and the Lakers in a blowout, Boston on Wednesday shut down Morant more thoroughly than anyone has, limiting him to 2 points and 5 assists in a 119-95 romp. Adam Himmelsbach, BostonGlobe.com, "Celtics use 52-12 run to maul Grizzlies in blowout," 22 Jan. 2020 Trap game With Kemba Walker out and Tatum scorching the Lakers last Sunday, Los Angeles flustered Tatum a bit by swarming him with traps beyond the 3-point line. Adam Himmelsbach, BostonGlobe.com, "Jayson Tatum is playing like a superstar. Here are 9 reasons why," 28 Feb. 2020 New York’s defense flustered the Viper offense, forcing them into four turnovers, including a pair of turnovers on downs in the fourth quarter. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "'Why not?' New York fans enjoy first XFL weekend with Guardians dominating Tampa Bay Vipers," 9 Feb. 2020 Defense Two months after flustering Jared Goff, they were filleted by the Rams QB, who threw for 323 yards and two TDs on a series of rollout passes and screens. SFChronicle.com, "Game grades from the 49ers’ 34-31 win over the Rams," 21 Dec. 2019 Wagner responds Wagner had one of his worst games of the season at Nebraska in January as the Huskers flustered him with a switching defense on the perimeter. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan hammers Nebraska, will get Michigan State Saturday in Big Ten tournament," 2 Mar. 2018 Beating the Rams usually comes down to pressuring and flustering QB Jared Goff, but Seattle ranks in the league’s bottom quarter in sack percentage and quarterback hits while surrendering the fourth-most passing yards per game at 269.3. Ken Pomponio, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "NFL Best Bets: Three best underdog locks for Week 14," 4 Dec. 2019 The Knicks had been switching on screens throughout the game — a shift that had flustered the Celtics at times — and this instance was no different. BostonGlobe.com, "Jayson Tatum sends Celtics past Knicks - The Boston Globe," 2 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bayard’s book has the luster of Abraham Lincoln as a protagonist and the fluster of the 16th president’s ambiguous sexuality at its heart. Bethanne Patrick, Washington Post, "Which D.C. novel best captures the city?," 11 June 2019 The fluster of lies Hanks’ Falstaff employs as a shield against rejection is touchingly pulled off. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Tom Hanks, Hamish Linklater and a 'Henry IV' worthy of applause," 10 June 2018 Fromm has shown the poise of a veteran all season, but Saban's defenses have been known to fluster even experienced quarterbacks and Fitzpatrick is an extension of Saban on the field. Ralph D. Russo, Houston Chronicle, "Championship matchups: Jalen Hurts vs. Roquan Smith; Jake Fromm vs. Minkah Fitzpatrick," 5 Jan. 2018 Marcel Marceau, Paul Anka, every French singer since Piaf, mostly recruited by his impossible-to-fluster translator and friend Yanou Collart. Peter Mikelbank, PEOPLE.com, "My Wild Days with Jerry Lewis with France: 'He Was a Whirlwind Who Could Be a World-Class Pain'," 21 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fluster.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of fluster


1604, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1712, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fluster

Verb and Noun

probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Icelandic flaustur hurry

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fluster

Time Traveler for fluster

Time Traveler

The first known use of fluster was in 1604

See more words from the same year

Statistics for fluster

Last Updated

18 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fluster.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fluster. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fluster


How to pronounce fluster (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fluster

: to make (someone) nervous and confused


flus·​ter | \ ˈflə-stər How to pronounce fluster (audio) \
flustered; flustering

Kids Definition of fluster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make nervous and confused : upset



Kids Definition of fluster (Entry 2 of 2)

: a state of nervous confusion … when they were getting ready to go out they were all in a fluster.— Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fluster

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fluster

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fluster

Spanish Central: Translation of fluster

Nglish: Translation of fluster for Spanish Speakers

Comments on fluster

What made you want to look up fluster? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!