perplexity

noun
per·​plex·​i·​ty | \ pər-ˈplek-sə-tē How to pronounce perplexity (audio) \
plural perplexities

Definition of perplexity

1 : the state of being perplexed : bewilderment
2 : something that perplexes

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Examples of perplexity in a Sentence

There was a look of perplexity on his face. He stared at her in perplexity. We will never solve all of the perplexities of life.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Mongols have been ill-served by history, the victims of an unfortunate mixture of prejudice and perplexity. Maxwell Carter, WSJ, 9 Apr. 2021 Her clients, too, each in therapy for different reasons, mirrored her perplexity. Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2021 Presented with a bottle of the stuff on an episode of his classic talk show, Cavett exhibited a kind of scandalized perplexity. Jason Kehe, Wired, 17 Mar. 2021 This polarization also generates some formal perplexity. Anna Zanardi Cappon, Forbes, 12 Mar. 2021 The Beavers began to lessen the perplexity Saturday against California, when the OSU offense produced a pair of one-play touchdown drives during the first quarter. oregonlive, 22 Nov. 2020 But yielding to the idea of the Holocaust’s incomparability leads us into a thicket of moral perplexities. Peter E. Gordon, The New York Review of Books, 7 Jan. 2020 Koenig may have supported Bernie Sanders in 2016, but Sanders’s mollycoddling platform never approaches the real-life perplexities that Koenig — a pop poet — sings about. Armond White, National Review, 10 Dec. 2019 Florio wasn't the only person confused by the non-call and the perplexity of the NFL's pass-interference replay system. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, 11 Nov. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for perplexity

Middle English perplexite, from Middle French perplexité, from Late Latin perplexitat-, perplexitas, from Latin perplexus

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Learn More About perplexity

Time Traveler for perplexity

Time Traveler

The first known use of perplexity was in the 14th century

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Statistics for perplexity

Cite this Entry

“Perplexity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perplexity. Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for perplexity

perplexity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of perplexity

: the state of being very confused because something is difficult to understand
: something that is confusing and difficult to understand

perplexity

noun
per·​plex·​i·​ty | \ pər-ˈplek-sə-tē How to pronounce perplexity (audio) \
plural perplexities

Kids Definition of perplexity

1 : a puzzled or anxious state of mind The school stared in perplexity at this incredible folly.— Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer
2 : something that puzzles

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