(third-person singular simple present discomfits, present participle discomfiting, simple past and past participle discomfited)
- (archaic) To defeat completely; to rout.
- To defeat the plans or hopes of; to frustrate.
- (proscribed) To embarrass greatly; to confuse; to perplex; to disconcert.
While widely used to mean “to embarrass, to disconcert”, prescriptive usage considers this a mistake (confusion with discomfort), and restrict discomfit to meaning “to defeat”.
(comparative more discomfit, superlative most discomfit)
- (obsolete) discomfited; overthrown
From Old French desconfit, past participle of desconfire (“to undo, to destroy”), from des- (“completely”), from Latin dis- + confire (“to make”), from Latin conficio (“to finish up, to destroy”), from com- (“with, together”) + facio (“to do, to make”).
Later sense of “to embarrass, to disconcert” due to confusion with unrelated discomfort.