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[per-plek-si-tee] /pərˈplɛk sɪ ti/
noun, plural perplexities.
the state of being perplexed; confusion; uncertainty.
something that perplexes:
a case plagued with perplexities.
a tangled, involved, or confused condition or situation.
Origin of perplexity
1350-1400; Middle English perplexite < Old French < Late Latin perplexitās, equivalent to Latin perplex(us) (see perplexed) + -itās -ity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for perplexities
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Make your dear mother your confidant in all your perplexities and trials.

    Plain Facts for Old and Young John Harvey Kellogg
  • Yet you ask me, a reliable machine, to help you in your perplexities?

    The Gorgeous Girl Nalbro Bartley
  • This is one of the puzzles and perplexities which hang a veil between God, who is pure Reason, and this outside world.

  • He was utterly worn out that evening by all the perplexities of his death-bed.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • She was confronted with a host of perplexities, which—mark you!

    When Ghost Meets Ghost William Frend De Morgan
  • As the summer advanced the perplexities of the Guises increased.

British Dictionary definitions for perplexities


noun (pl) -ties
the state of being perplexed
the state of being intricate or complicated
something that perplexes
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 perplexities



c.1300, "bewilderment," from Old French perplexite "confusion, perplexity," from Late Latin perplexitatem (nominative perplexitas), from Latin perplexus "confused, involved, interwoven," from per- "completely" + plexus "entangled," past participle of plectere "to twine" (see complex (adj.)). From 1590s as "something that causes perplexity."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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