confuse


confuse
confuse 1 Confuse, muddle, addle, fuddle, befuddle mean to throw one out mentally so that one cannot think clearly or act intelligently.
Confuse usually implies intense embarrassment or bewilderment
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you confuse me, and how can I transact business if I am confused? Let us be clearheaded— Dickens

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Muddle often suggests stupefaction (as by drink) and usually implies blundering, aimless, but not necessarily unsuccessful attempts to deal with ideas, situations, or tasks beyond one's powers of analysis or one's capacity
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a subject so abstruse as to muddle the brains of all but exceptional students

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we have muddled through so often that we have come half to believe in a providence which watches over unintelligent virtue— Inge

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Addle suggests staleness or emptiness of mind and resulting mental impotence
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I have addled my head with writing all day— Dickens

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Fuddle and the more common befuddle imply confusion from or as if from tippling or indulgence in a drug that clouds the mind and makes one's thinking and speech absurdly incoherent
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Shakespeare's Falstaff is most amusing when he is completely befuddled

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corridors, archways, recesses . . . combined to fuddle any sense of direction— Elizabeth Bowen

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perhaps his best would be a little better if he didn't befuddle his mind with . . . slander— Frank

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Analogous words: confound, bewilder, mystify, perplex, *puzzle: discomfit, disconcert, faze, rattle (see EMBARRASS): fluster, flurry (see DISCOMPOSE)
Antonyms: enlighten
2 *mistake, confound
Antonyms: differentiate

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Confuse — Con*fuse , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Confused}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Confusing}.] 1. To mix or blend so that things can not be distinguished; to jumble together; to confound; to render indistinct or obscure; as, to confuse accounts; to confuse one s… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • confuse — I (bewilder) verb abash, addle, astonish, baffle, befog, befuddle, bemuddle, confound, confundere, daze, discompose, disconcert, distract, embarrass, flurry, fluster, fog, jumble, mislead, mix up, muddle, mystify, nonplus, obfuscate, permiscere,… …   Law dictionary

  • confuse — [v1] bewilder someone abash, addle, amaze, astonish, baffle, becloud, bedevil, befuddle, bemuse, cloud, clutter, complicate, confound, darken, daze, demoralize, discomfit, discompose, disconcert, discountenance, disorient, distract, embarrass,… …   New thesaurus

  • Confuse — Con*fuse , a. [F. confus, L. confusus, p. p. of confundere. See {Confound}.] Mixed; confounded. [Obs.] Baret. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • confuse — 1550s, in literal sense mix or mingle things so as to render the elements indistinguishable; attested from mid 18c. in active, figurative sense of discomfit in mind or feeling; not in general use until 19c., taking over senses formerly belonging… …   Etymology dictionary

  • confuse — ► VERB 1) make bewildered or perplexed. 2) make less easy to understand. 3) mistake (one for another). DERIVATIVES confusable adjective. ORIGIN from Latin confusus, from confundere mix up …   English terms dictionary

  • confuse — [kən fyo͞oz′] vt. confused, confusing [ME confusen < confus, perplexed < OFr < L confusus, pp. of confundere: see CONFOUND] 1. to mix up; jumble together; put into disorder 2. to mix up mentally; specif., a) to bewilder; perplex b) to… …   English World dictionary

  • confuse */*/ — UK [kənˈfjuːz] / US [kənˈfjuz] verb [transitive] Word forms confuse : present tense I/you/we/they confuse he/she/it confuses present participle confusing past tense confused past participle confused 1) to make someone feel that they do not… …   English dictionary

  • confuse — confusable, adj. confusability, n. confusably, adv. confusedly /keuhn fyooh zid lee, fyoohzd /, adv. confusedness, n. /keuhn fyoohz /, v.t., confused, confusing. 1. to pe …   Universalium

  • confuse — 01. Everyone [confuses] me for my sister because we look so much alike. 02. Some of the questions on the test were really [confusing] for me. 03. Some of the questions on the test really [confused] me. 04. I always get [confused] between the past …   Grammatical examples in English


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