per·​plex·​ing | \ pər-ˈplek-siŋ How to pronounce perplexing (audio) \

Definition of perplexing

: difficult to understand : causing confusion A perplexing feature of insomnia is that people seem to overestimate their sleep loss.— Rita L. Atkinson et al. Chronic acalculous biliary disorders are among the most perplexing diagnostic and therapeutic challenges in medicine.— Richard M. Gore A perplexing problem, often encountered by cat owners, is that of a refusal to use the litterbox after using it for years in the past.— Susan L. Mathews

Other Words from perplexing

perplexingly adverb
a perplexingly complex problem This was all that I could observe of her in the dim light and under the perplexingly strange circumstances of our meeting. — Wilkie Collins

First Known Use of perplexing

1585, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About perplexing

Time Traveler for perplexing

Time Traveler

The first known use of perplexing was in 1585

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near perplexing




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for perplexing

Cite this Entry

“Perplexing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for perplexing



English Language Learners Definition of perplexing

: difficult to understand : confusing


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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