What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[kuh n-fyoo-zhuh n] /kənˈfyu ʒən/
the act of confusing.
the state of being confused.
disorder; upheaval; tumult; chaos:
The army retreated in confusion.
lack of clearness or distinctness:
a confusion in his mind between right and wrong.
perplexity; bewilderment:
The more difficult questions left us in complete confusion.
embarrassment or abashment:
He blushed in confusion.
Psychiatry. a disturbed mental state; disorientation.
Archaic. defeat, overthrow, or ruin.
Origin of confusion
1300-50; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin confūsiōn- (stem of confūsiō). See confuse, -ion
Related forms
confusional, adjective
preconfusion, noun
reconfusion, noun
superconfusion, noun
2. distraction. 3. turmoil, jumble, mess, disarray. 6. shame, mortification. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for confusion
  • confusion about the nature of the so-called information age has led to a state of collective false consciousness.
  • But there is a narrow spectra that when emitted only causes confusion and disorientation of the crowd.
  • The crowd stirred with confusion and the stadium quieted.
  • The large red circles intertwine with the next and can cause confusion to many people.
  • Somewhere in all this information may lie clues to help scientists cut through much of today's confusion.
  • The root of these heart-wrenching fluctuations between cognizance and confusion has eluded scientists for years.
  • Not only is the phrase a bit ominous, it's also a source of confusion.
  • Dementia that occurs with metabolic disorders may cause confusion and changes in intellect or reasoning.
  • The rest will be at various stages of boredom, frustration, or confusion.
  • confusion arises because there are competing indices, including different currencies with different weights.
British Dictionary definitions for confusion


the act of confusing or the state of being confused
disorder; jumble
bewilderment; perplexity
lack of clarity; indistinctness
embarrassment; abashment
Derived Forms
confusional, adjective
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 confusion

late 13c., "overthrow, ruin," from Old French confusion (11c.) "disorder, confusion, shame," from Latin confusionem (nominative confusio) "a mingling, mixing, blending; confusion, disorder," noun of action from confundere "to pour together," also "to confuse" (see confound). Sense of "a putting to shame" (a sort of mental "overthrow") is late 14c. in English, while that of "mental perplexity" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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confusion in Medicine

confusion con·fu·sion (kən-fyōō'zhən)
Impaired orientation with respect to time, place, or person; a disturbed mental state.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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