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perplexed

[per-plekst] /pərˈplɛkst/
adjective
1.
bewildered; puzzled:
a perplexed state of mind.
2.
complicated; involved; entangled.
Origin of perplexed
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English perplex confused (< Latin perplexus; see per-, complex) + -ed2
Related forms
perplexedly
[per-plek-sid-lee] /pərˈplɛk sɪd li/ (Show IPA),
adverb
perplexedness, noun
self-perplexed, adjective
unperplexed, adjective

perplex

[per-pleks] /pərˈplɛks/
verb (used with object)
1.
to cause to be puzzled or bewildered over what is not understood or certain; confuse mentally:
Her strange response perplexed me.
2.
to make complicated or confused, as a matter or question.
3.
to hamper with complications, confusion, or uncertainty.
Origin
1585-95; back formation from perplexed
Related forms
perplexer, noun
perplexingly, adverb
unperplexing, adjective
Synonyms
1. mystify, confound. 2. tangle, snarl. 3. vex, annoy, bother.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for perplexed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Though devoted to his mother and sister, I always fancied there was a perplexed misunderstanding between Jim and his father.

    Sonia Between two Worlds Stephen McKenna
  • Presently he came down again, his face looking drawn and perplexed.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • How he was to get up there would have perplexed an observer.

    Ben Blair Will Lillibridge
  • One thing had perplexed me very much in going from bed to bed.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • Sometimes he attempted to solve arithmetical questions which had perplexed him while at school.

    Biographical Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for perplexed

perplex

/pəˈplɛks/
verb (transitive)
1.
to puzzle; bewilder; confuse
2.
to complicate: to perplex an issue
Word Origin
C15: from obsolete perplex (adj) intricate, from Latin perplexus entangled, from per- (thoroughly) + plectere to entwine
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 perplexed
adj.

late 15c., past participle adjective; see perplex. A case of a past participle form attested centuries before the verb (perplex isn't recorded until 17c.). Related: Perplexedly; perplexedness.

perplex

v.

late 14c. as an adjective, "perplexed, puzzled, bewildered," from Latin perplexus "involved, confused, intricate;" but Latin had no corresponding verb *perplectere. The Latin compound would be per "through" (see per) + plexus "entangled," past participle of plectere "to twine, braid, fold" (see complex (adj.)).

The form of the English adjective shifted to perplexed by late 15c., probably to conform to other past participle adjectives. The verb is latest attested of the group, in 1590s, evidently a back-formation from the adjective. Related: Perplexing, which well describes the history of the word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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