confound

verb
con·​found | \ kən-ˈfau̇nd How to pronounce confound (audio) , kän- \
confounded; confounding; confounds

Definition of confound

transitive verb

1 : to throw (a person) into confusion or perplexity tactics to confound the enemy
2a : refute sought to confound his arguments
b : to put to shame : discomfit a performance that confounded the critics
3 : damn
4a : to fail to discern differences between : mix up They implored Charles not to confound the innocent with the guilty …— T. B. Macaulay
b : to increase the confusion of
5a : baffle, frustrate Conferences … are not for accomplishment but to confound knavish tricks.— John Kenneth Galbraith
b archaic : to bring to ruin : destroy
6 obsolete : consume, waste

Other Words from confound

confounder \ kən-​ˈfau̇n-​dər How to pronounce confound (audio) , kän-​ \ noun
confoundingly \ kən-​ˈfau̇n-​diŋ-​lē How to pronounce confound (audio) , kän-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for confound

puzzle, perplex, bewilder, distract, nonplus, confound, dumbfound mean to baffle and disturb mentally. puzzle implies existence of a problem difficult to solve. the persistent fever puzzled the doctor perplex adds a suggestion of worry and uncertainty especially about making a necessary decision. a behavior that perplexed her friends bewilder stresses a confusion of mind that hampers clear and decisive thinking. a bewildering number of possibilities distract implies agitation or uncertainty induced by conflicting preoccupations or interests. distracted by personal problems nonplus implies a bafflement that makes orderly planning or deciding impossible. the remark left us utterly nonplussed confound implies temporary mental paralysis caused by astonishment or profound abasement. the tragic news confounded us all dumbfound suggests intense but momentary confounding; often the idea of astonishment is so stressed that it becomes a near synonym of astound. was at first too dumbfounded to reply

Examples of confound in a Sentence

The strategy confounded our opponents. The murder case has confounded investigators. The school's team confounded all predictions and won the game. The success of the show confounded critics.
Recent Examples on the Web By contrast, many hospital campuses confound patients. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive, 26 Apr. 2022 By contrast, many hospital campuses confound patients. Blake Farmer, Fortune, 25 Apr. 2022 Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and his religious nationalist allies, recently ousted from power after 12 years, seek to confound Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's delicate coalition of disparate political parties. Ilan Ben Zion, ajc, 22 July 2021 They were blindfolded to eliminate the potential for visual feedback that might confound our results. David Caldwell, The Conversation, 30 Mar. 2022 Therefore, there could be factors that confound any results. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 8 Mar. 2022 Four years later Palmer lost his final playoff game with Cincinnati, opposite a cagey New York Jets defense that would confound Philip Rivers and Co. in the divisional game that followed in Mission Valley. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Jan. 2022 Devices’ struggle to navigate shifting time zones can confound residents who pride themselves on being punctual, like Christina Williams. Jaewon Kang, WSJ, 11 Mar. 2022 The coronavirus will adapt and confound efforts to contain it. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 15 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confound.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of confound

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5b

History and Etymology for confound

Middle English confounden "to defeat, destroy, frustrate, bewilder," borrowed from Anglo-French confondre, going back to Latin confundere "to pour together, blend, bring into disorder, destroy, disconcert," from con- con- + fundere "to pour, shed" — more at found entry 5

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Time Traveler for confound

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The first known use of confound was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Confound.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confound. Accessed 9 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for confound

confound

verb
con·​found | \ kən-ˈfau̇nd How to pronounce confound (audio) , kän- \
confounded; confounding

Kids Definition of confound

: confuse sense 1 The crime has confounded police.

More from Merriam-Webster on confound

Nglish: Translation of confound for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confound for Arabic Speakers

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