Word of the Day

Thursday, June 01, 2000


\dis-kuhn-SURT\ , transitive verb;
To disturb the composure of.
To throw into disorder or confusion; as, "the emperor disconcerted the plans of his enemy."
In steering a small boat before a heavy gale, don't look back -- it may disconcert you.
-- Frank Arthur Worsley, Shackleton's Boat Journey
I wander away, disconcerted by this sudden sense of having been cut short, frozen in mid-flow.
-- Paul Golding, The Abomination
They were disconcerted each time they saw him change from one evening to the next from a dramatic role to a comic one, from the part of a good man to that of the villain, as if he were thereby revealing some incomprehensible mutability in his being; but every time, after just a few lines, they would become wholly engrossed in the new fiction, convincing themselves that this was just how he was.
-- Paola Capriolo, The Woman Watching
Disconcert is derived from Old French desconcerter, from des-, "dis-" + concerter, from Old Italian concertare, "to act together, to agree."
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