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confuse

[kuh n-fyooz] /kənˈfyuz/
verb (used with object), confused, confusing.
1.
to perplex or bewilder:
The flood of questions confused me.
2.
to make unclear or indistinct:
The rumors and angry charges tended to confuse the issue.
3.
to fail to distinguish between; associate by mistake; confound:
to confuse dates; He always confuses the twins.
4.
to disconcert or abash:
His candor confused her.
5.
to combine without order; jumble; disorder:
Try not to confuse the papers on the desk.
6.
Archaic. to bring to ruin or naught.
Origin
back formation from confused (since early 19th century), Middle English confused < Anglo-French confus (with -ed -ed2 maintaining participial sense) < Latin confūsus, past participle of confundere; see confound
Related forms
confusable, adjective
confusability, noun
confusably, adverb
confusedly
[kuh n-fyoo-zid-lee, -fyoozd-] /kənˈfyu zɪd li, -ˈfyuzd-/ (Show IPA),
adverb
confusedness, noun
preconfuse, verb (used with object), preconfused, preconfusing.
preconfusedly, adverb
reconfuse, verb (used with object), reconfused, reconfusing.
superconfused, adjective
unconfusable, adjective
unconfusably, adverb
unconfused, adjective
unconfusedly, adverb
Synonyms
1. mystify, nonplus. Confuse, disconcert, embarrass imply temporary interference with the clear working of one's mind. To confuse is to produce a general bewilderment: to confuse someone by giving complicated directions. To disconcert is to disturb one's mind by irritation, perplexities, etc.: to disconcert someone by asking irrelevant questions. To embarrass is to cause one to be ill at ease or uncomfortable, so that one's usual judgment and presence of mind desert one: to embarrass someone by unexpected rudeness. 4. mortify, shame. 5. disarray, disarrange, disturb.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for confused
  • The catch is that domain-generality in cognition should never be confused with the notion of general-purpose adaptation.
  • Time became strange, and she had a tendency to feel lost and confused.
  • Never mind that the result was predictably confused.
  • In other words, he has the ardor and sincerity-and the confused notions-typical of so many intelligent autodidacts.
  • Reasons for origins must not be confused with alterations for later use.
  • Either he misread the guide or in his calculations he confused cubic meters with square meters.
  • We also sought to show that these regulations are based on confused thinking.
  • He's confused and he's confusing, and yet, he has to project this sort of ultimate confidence.
  • And he sounds genuinely confused that caring too much could be used against him as a liability.
  • He looked confused, and had more questions to follow.
British Dictionary definitions for confused

confuse

/kənˈfjuːz/
verb (transitive)
1.
to bewilder; perplex
2.
to mix up (things, ideas, etc); jumble
3.
to make unclear he confused his talk with irrelevant details
4.
to fail to recognize the difference between; mistake (one thing) for another
5.
to disconcert; embarrass
6.
to cause to become disordered the enemy ranks were confused by gas
Derived Forms
confusable, adjective, noun
confusability, noun
Word Origin
C18: back formation from confused, from Latin confūsus mingled together, from confundere to pour together; see confound

confused

/kənˈfjuːzd/
adjective
1.
feeling or exhibiting an inability to understand; bewildered; perplexed
2.
in a disordered state; mixed up; jumbled
3.
lacking sufficient mental abilities for independent living, esp through old age
Derived Forms
confusedly (kənˈfjuːzɪdlɪ; -ˈfjuːzd-) adverb
confusedness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for confused
confuse
c.1550, in literal sense "mix or mingle things so as to render the elements indistinguishable;" attested from mid-18c. in active, figurative sense of "discomfit in mind or feeling;" not in general use until 19c., taking over senses formerly belonging to confound, dumbfound, flabbergast etc. The pp. confused (q.v.) is attested much earlier (serving as an alternate p.t. to confound), and the verb here might be a back-formation from it. Related: Confusing (1846).
confused
early 14c., "discomfited, routed, defeated" (of groups), serving at first as an alternate pp. of confound, as Latin confusus was the pp. of confundere "to pour together, mix, mingle; to join together;" hence, figuratively, "to throw into disorder; to trouble, disturb, upset." The Latin pp. also was used as an adjective, with reference to mental states, "troubled, embarrassed," and this passed into O.Fr. as confus "dejected, downcast, undone, defeated, discomfited in mind or feeling," which passed to M.E. as confus (14c.; e.g. Chaucer: "I am so confus, that I may not seye"), which then was assimilated to the English pp. pattern by addition of -ed. Of individuals, "discomfited in mind, perplexed," from mid-14c.; of ideas, speech, thought, etc., from 1610s. By mid-16c., the word seems to have been felt as a pure adj., and it evolved a back-formed verb in confuse. Few English etymologies are more confused.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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