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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many flustered folks end up ordering a pizza and feeling guilty about letting their family down. Cara Rosenbloom, Washington Post, "Seven research-backed tips to make the most of family meals, no matter how often they happen," 20 Nov. 2019 Their mother and father, Chung-sook (Jang Hye-jin) and Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), are flustered and foulmouthed. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Parasite” Explores What Lies Beneath," 11 Oct. 2019 Somehow, the Bears will have to fluster Bridgewater into a few game-changing mistakes. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Bears Sunday storylines: Taylor Gabriel’s big breakthrough, Teddy Bridgewater’s greatest strength and Leonard Floyd’s disappearance," 19 Oct. 2019 If the Utes defense eliminates Benjamin and flusters Daniels, Utah could remain at the top of the Pac-12 South. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Arizona State vs. Utah picks, predictions: Who wins Week 8 Pac-12 college football game?," 15 Oct. 2019 With Baby, his newfound penchant for pop features wouldn't fluster fans at all, either. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Billboard Staffers Discuss DaBaby's 'Kirk' Debut and Breakout Year," 8 Oct. 2019 The Trojans were routinely flustered up front in their 30-27 overtime loss at BYU last week, struggling to protect freshman QB Kedon Slovis even when the Cougars brought only three pass rushers. San Diego Union-Tribune, "No. 10 Utah looks for historic win over up-and-down USC," 19 Sep. 2019 Even an extended video review in the 27th minute, which eventually determined Griedge Mbock Bathy was offside, nullifying a goal, couldn’t fluster the French. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Believe the hype. France shows why it's a World Cup favorite with dominant win," 7 June 2019 In remarkable scenes that flustered even the sotto voce BBC commentators, opposition lawmakers threw themselves at the silk-canopied speaker’s chair, trying in vain to keep him from getting to his feet and allowing Parliament to be suspended. BostonGlobe.com, "When a security team finally tore the lawmakers away, the speaker, John Bercow, remained studiously seated, causing one of the BBC commentators to marvel under her voice, “He’s not going to go.”," 11 Sep. 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.

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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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Learn More about fluster

Time Traveler for fluster

Time Traveler

The first known use of fluster was in 1604

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Statistics for fluster

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Fluster.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flustering. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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

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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

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very cautious or careful

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