- To confuse is to make someone bewildered or unable to understand, or to mistake one thing for something else.
- When you explain something in a way that makes no sense, this is an example of a time when you confuse.
- When you make a situation more complicated than it needs to be, this is an example of a time when you confuse a situation.
- When you think that a black shirt looks blue, this is an example of a time when you confuse black for blue.
transitive verbconfused, confusing
- to mix up; jumble together; put into disorder
- to mix up mentally; specif.,
- to bewilder; perplex
- to embarrass; disconcert; abash
- to fail to distinguish between; mistake the identity of
Origin of confuseMiddle English confusen ; from confus, perplexed ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin confusus, past participle of confundere: see confound
verbcon·fused, con·fus·ing, con·fus·es
- a. To cause to be unable to think with clarity or act with intelligence or understanding; bewilder or perplex.b. Archaic To cause to feel embarrassment.
- a. To fail to differentiate (one person or thing) from another: confused effusiveness with affection.b. To make more complex or difficult to understand: “The old labels &ellipsis; confuse debate instead of clarifying it” (Christopher Lasch).
To make something unclear or incomprehensible: a new tax code that only confuses.
Origin of confuseMiddle English confusen, from Old French confus, perplexed, from Latin cōnfūsus, past participle of cōnfundere, to mix together; see confound.
(third-person singular simple present confuses, present participle confusing, simple past and past participle confused)