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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 perplexity
  • But in the four days since astronomers here discovered this new supernova, its behavior has caused growing scientific perplexity.
  • Sonnets that on first reading make prosaic sense can fall into perplexity on growing acquaintance.
  • The early opening of the season enabled the dealers to do a large business before the present perplexity arose.
  • Life coaches offer to help with the perplexity of bigger choices.
  • Without prompting, they wondered in sadness and perplexity what had happened to the good old days.
  • The only thing one can do is to indicate the value of the work and to show a way of approaching it with lessened perplexity.
  • My perplexity led me to bring my own way of seeing people, of seeing the world, into the book.
  • But the indirection has left contemporary critics in some perplexity.
  • Her utter candor and her current perplexity are affecting.
  • He tried to see her, sitting there in her perplexity.
British Dictionary definitions for perplexity


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 perplexity

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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perplexity in Technology

The geometric mean of the number of words which may follow any given word for a certain lexicon and grammar.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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