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[kon-found, kuh n-; for 6 usually kon-found] /kɒnˈfaʊnd, kən-; for 6 usually ˈkɒnˈfaʊnd/
verb (used with object)
to perplex or amaze, especially by a sudden disturbance or surprise; bewilder; confuse:
The complicated directions confounded him.
to throw into confusion or disorder:
The revolution confounded the people.
to throw into increased confusion or disorder.
to treat or regard erroneously as identical; mix or associate by mistake:
truth confounded with error.
to mingle so that the elements cannot be distinguished or separated.
to damn (used in mild imprecations):
Confound it!
to contradict or refute:
to confound their arguments.
to put to shame; abash.
  1. to defeat or overthrow.
  2. to bring to ruin or naught.
Obsolete. to spend uselessly; waste.
Origin of confound
1250-1300; Middle English conf(o)unden < Anglo-French confoundre < Latin confundere to mix, equivalent to con- con- + fundere to pour
Related forms
confoundable, adjective
confounder, noun
confoundingly, adverb
interconfound, verb (used with object)
preconfound, verb (used with object)
unconfound, verb (used with object)
unconfounding, adjective
unconfoundingly, adverb
1. dumbfound, daze, nonplus, astound. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for confound
  • In fact, the problems that now confound robot programmers are puzzles that human infants often solve before their first birthday.
  • Soft objects confound its algorithms, since their boundaries aren't fixed.
  • The objective of the abstract should not be to confound, but to reveal, to be understood.
  • The mortgage modification conundrum continues to confound policy wonks.
  • If there were differences in the shape of the distributions, your reader would be right and it would confound interpretation.
  • The complexity of the relationship between genes and behaviors will always confound simple-minded efforts to link the two.
  • No error is more common than to confound democracy as an element in national character with democracy as a form of government.
  • Most appear to confound changed leaves with withered ones, as if they were to confound ripe apples with rotten ones.
  • It might be called sentimental by those who confound true and false sentiment in one condemnation.
  • Tell the truth, and so puzzle and confound your adversaries.
British Dictionary definitions for confound


verb (transitive)
to astound or perplex; bewilder
to mix up; confuse
to treat mistakenly as similar to or identical with (one or more other things)
(kɒnˈfaʊnd). to curse or damn (usually as an expletive in the phrase confound it!)
to contradict or refute (an argument, etc)
to rout or defeat (an enemy)
(obsolete) to waste
Derived Forms
confoundable, adjective
confounder, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French confondre, from Latin confundere to mingle, pour together, from fundere to pour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for confound

c.1300, "make uneasy, abash," from Anglo-French confoundre, Old French confondre (12c.) "crush, ruin, disgrace, throw into disorder," from Latin confundere "to confuse," literally "to pour together, mix, mingle," from com- "together" (see com-) + fundere "to pour" (see found (v.2)).

The figurative sense of "confuse, fail to distinguish, mix up" emerged in Latin, passed into French and thence into Middle English, where it is mostly found in Scripture; the sense of "destroy utterly" is recorded in English from c.1300. Meaning "perplex" is late 14c. The Latin past participle confusus, meanwhile, became confused (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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