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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Alcaraz then used a series of kick serves to fluster Djokovic and held at love for a 6-5 lead. Adam Zagoria, Forbes, 7 May 2022 In a game where the Bruins’ sturdy backbone came together to fluster and flummox a disciplined Gaels team in a 72-56 victory, that backbone crumpled. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 19 Mar. 2022 The Buccaneers do have defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, though, and his exotic blitz packages may fluster Stafford, who threw 17 interceptions in the regular season, tied for the league lead. New York Times, 20 Jan. 2022 Both are struggling, but Pittsburgh is at home in prime time, and its defense will have something dialed up to fluster Justin Fields. Los Angeles Times, 4 Nov. 2021 Of course, Martindale has tried to fluster Mahomes with zone coverage, too. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, 17 Sep. 2021 Still, the Browns’ defense could fluster a rookie quarterback into a mistake or two. New York Times, 23 Sep. 2021 Mathieu helped fluster Cleveland early and then Stefanski ran out of go-to plays late. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, 11 Sep. 2021 Belichick has been known to be able to fluster opposing rookie quarterbacks with different defensive looks, and by extension, Flores can do the same, having learned from Belichick for a decade as an assistant in New England. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, 7 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the 4 1/2 games Chubb missed, the Browns had their quarterback win a game (Bengals), needed last-second heroics from Odell Beckham Jr. in Dallas, and had the defense fluster Colts quarterback Phillip Rivers into two interceptions and a safety. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, 12 Nov. 2020 Some believe the team uses the roof for competitive advantages -- closed to trap and amplify crowd noise or open to fluster opposing quarterbacks and kickers. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, 26 Sep. 2020 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, 11 June 2019 The fluster of lies Hanks’ Falstaff employs as a shield against rejection is touchingly pulled off. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, 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, 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, 21 Aug. 2017 See More

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.

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

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Time Traveler for fluster

Time Traveler

The first known use of fluster was in 1604

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Cite this Entry

“Fluster.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fluster. Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for fluster


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

More from Merriam-Webster on fluster

Nglish: Translation of fluster for Spanish Speakers


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