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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 confounding
  • It is intense and exhilarating, if a little confounding.
  • Malaria is a confounding disease-often, it seems, contradictory to logic.
  • Combining the two instruments' data will help isolate the confounding effects of atmospheric dust.
  • It accounted for the potentially confounding effect of seasonal variation in hospital admissions.
  • Yet, more studies than ever before appear to be in progress, and they are confirming some preconceptions and confounding others.
  • Subdivision streets often twirl back on themselves or dead-end, confounding even the best sense of direction.
  • Cultural complexities are confounding and tastes are extraordinarily fluid.
  • Let's start with that confounding multipiece puzzle of modern life: the local salad bar.
  • Since then, a whirl of confounding claims and counter-claims has emerged.
  • Moreover there are simply too many more likely confounding factors.
British Dictionary definitions for confounding


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 confounding



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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