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Confuse Definition and Meaning

By Tayyaba Rehman & Maham Liaqat — Updated on March 6, 2024
Confuse means to cause someone to be unable to think clearly or to mix up. e.g., The contradictory instructions confuse the new employees.

Confuse Definitions

To make someone unable to understand or distinguish.
The similar names confuse people.
To mistake one thing for another.
I often confuse your handwriting with his.
To disturb the composure of.
The unexpected news confused the audience.
To make something more complicated or less understandable.
Adding more rules only serves to confuse the issue.
To blend or mingle.
The sounds from the street confused her thoughts.
To fail to differentiate; to mix up.
She always confuses the twins.
To cause to feel disoriented or perplexed.
The loud noises outside confuse the dog.
To jumble or muddle thoughts, ideas, or feelings.
His sudden change of plans confuses everyone.
To complicate or make difficult to understand.
Adding more rules might confuse the game.
To disconcert or abash.
His harsh critique confused the young artist.
To perplex or bewilder.
The puzzle seems to confuse everyone who tries it.
To disorder or jumble.
The files were confused during the office move.
To mix up mentally; bewilder.
Complex math problems confuse me.
To make unclear or indistinct.
The fog can confuse the path ahead.
To disconcert or fluster.
Unexpected questions can confuse the speaker.
To blend without clear distinction.
The colors in the painting confuse the eye.
To cause to feel embarrassment.
His sudden question served to confuse her.
To fail to differentiate; mix up.
She always confuses the twins' names.
To cause to be unable to think with clarity or act with intelligence or understanding; bewilder or perplex.
(Archaic) To cause to feel embarrassment.
To fail to differentiate (one person or thing) from another
Confused effusiveness with affection.
To make more complex or difficult to understand
"The old labels ... confuse debate instead of clarifying it" (Christopher Lasch).
To make something unclear or incomprehensible
A new tax code that only confuses.
(transitive) to puzzle, perplex, baffle, bewilder somebody; to afflict by being complicated, contradictory, or otherwise difficult to understand
It confused me when I went to the office and nobody was there, but then I realised it was Sunday.
(transitive) To mix up, muddle up one thing with another; to mistake one thing for another.
People who say "hola" to Italians are confusing Italian with Spanish.
(transitive) To mix thoroughly; to confound; to disorder.
To make uneasy and ashamed; to embarrass.
To rout; discomfit.
(intransitive) To be confused.
Mixed; confounded.
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 vision.
A universal hubbub wildOf stunning sounds and voices all confused.
To perplex; to disconcert; to abash; to cause to lose self-possession.
Nor thou with shadowed hint confuseA life that leads melodious days.
Confused and sadly she at length replied.
Mistake one thing for another;
You are confusing me with the other candidate
I mistook her for the secretary
Be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly;
These questions confuse even the experts
This question completely threw me
This question befuddled even the teacher
Cause to feel embarrassment;
The constant attention of the young man confused her
Assemble without order or sense;
She jumbles the words when she is supposed to write a sentence
Make unclear or incomprehensible;
The new tax return forms only confuse
Make unclear, indistinct, or blurred;
Her remarks confused the debate
Their words obnubilate their intentions

Confuse Snonyms


To cause someone to become perplexed and confused.
The new rules bewildered him.


To utterly bewilder or perplex.
His intentions mystified all who knew him.


To cause to lose the sense of time, location, or identity.
The foreign streets disoriented her.


To bewilder completely; to confuse or perplex.
The puzzle baffled everyone.


To cause to feel confused because they cannot understand something.
The problem puzzled him for weeks.


To stun or stupefy with a blow, shock, etc.; bewilder.
He was dazed by the complexity of the question.


To complicate or befuddle, making something difficult to understand.
The mystery perplexed the detectives.


To confuse or befuddle, especially with alcohol.
The wine had fuddled his senses.


To bewilder; confound; confuse.
The sudden question flummoxed her.


To bring into a disordered or confusing state.
The instructions only muddled me further.

Confuse Idioms & Phrases

Confuse two things

To mistakenly believe that two distinct things are the same.
People often confuse confidence with arrogance.

Confuse the picture

To make a situation less clear or more complicated.
Adding more people to the team at this stage might just confuse the picture.

Confuse fact with fiction

To mix up what is true and what is made up.
He tends to confuse fact with fiction when telling stories.

Confuse someone's signals

To misinterpret what someone is trying to communicate.
I didn't mean to lead you on; I think you confused my signals.

Confuse the matter

Similar to confuse the issue, making a problem or situation more complex.
Let's not confuse the matter by guessing without all the facts.

Confuse the issue

To make a situation more complicated or less clear.
Bringing up old arguments will only confuse the issue.

Confuse the senses

To overwhelm or bewilder the sensory perceptions.
The illusionist's act is meant to confuse the senses.

Confuse one thing for another

To mistakenly identify something as something else.
In his haste, he confused the salt for sugar.

Confuse right and wrong

To be unable to distinguish between ethical and unethical actions.
The film's protagonist seems to confuse right and wrong.

Confuse the lines between

To blur the distinctions between two things.
Modern work arrangements often confuse the lines between personal and professional time.

Confuse the map with the territory

To mistake a representation of something for the thing itself.
In planning, it's crucial not to confuse the map with the territory.

Confuse the order of things

To mix up the sequence of events or steps.
Trying to do too much at once can confuse the order of things.

Confuse priorities

To be unclear about what is most important.
Don't let minor tasks confuse your priorities.

Confuse the roles

To be unclear about who is supposed to do what.
In a team without a clear leader, it's easy to confuse the roles.

Confuse the boundaries

To make the limits or distinctions between things unclear.
Mixing business with pleasure can confuse the boundaries.

Confuse the trail

To make a path or track difficult to follow.
The detective's false leads were meant to confuse the trail.

Confuse day with night

To completely lose sense of time.
Working night shifts can make you confuse day with night.

Confuse someone's intentions

To misunderstand someone's purpose or goal.
I think you're confusing my intentions; I was only trying to help.

Confuse someone's words

To misinterpret what someone has said.
You're confusing my words; that's not what I meant.

Confuse the score

To be mistaken about the current state or progress of something.
You're confusing the score; we're actually ahead.

Confuse Example Sentences

The legal jargon in the document confuses most readers.
Maps without clear labels can confuse travelers.
The teacher's explanation only served to confuse the students further.
Trying to multitask can often confuse your priorities.
Foreign languages confuse him since he doesn't study them.
Sudden changes in the schedule confuse the team.
He didn't mean to confuse you with his comments.
Too many signposts at the junction confuse drivers.
Similar passwords for different accounts can confuse users.
Trying to multitask can sometimes confuse your priorities.
Illness can sometimes confuse a person's sense of time.
Contradictory instructions confuse the assembly process.
The overlapping sounds in the room confuse the listeners.
His disguise was meant to confuse the onlookers.
Complex instructions confuse the assembly process.
New technology tends to confuse those not familiar with it.
The magician's tricks are designed to confuse and amaze the audience.
The twins wear different colored hats so they don't confuse their friends.
Too many signs at the intersection can confuse drivers.
The debate on the topic seemed to confuse the issue rather than clarify it.
The resemblance between the two paintings confuses art enthusiasts.
His erratic behavior confuses those around him.
Loud noises tend to confuse the signal on the phone.
Her sudden change of topic did nothing but confuse the conversation.
The similarity between the two plans might confuse the committee.
Foreign languages confuse me, especially when spoken quickly.
The teacher's explanation only seemed to confuse the students more.
Legal jargon can often confuse laypeople.
Overlapping deadlines confuse our scheduling.

Common Curiosities

What is a stressed syllable in confuse?

The stressed syllable in "confuse" is the second one, -fuse.

How do we divide confuse into syllables?

Confuse is divided into syllables as con-fuse.

How is confuse used in a sentence?

Confuse is often used to describe causing someone to be unable to think clearly or to mix things up, e.g., The similar sounding names confuse me.

How many syllables are in confuse?

There are two syllables in "confuse."

What is the first form of confuse?

The first form is "confuse," used as the present tense.

What is the third form of confuse?

The third form is also "confused," used as the past participle.

What part of speech is confuse?

"Confuse" is a verb, referring to the action of making someone unable to think clearly or to mix things up.

What is the singular form of confuse?

"Confuse" remains the same in both singular and plural contexts when used as a verb.

What is the second form of confuse?

The second form is "confused," which is the past simple tense.

Why is it called confuse?

The term "confuse" comes from the Latin "confusus," which means "to mix or blend together," implying a lack of clarity or distinction.

What is the verb form of confuse?

The verb form is "confuse," as in "to confuse someone or something."

What is the root word of confuse?

The root of "confuse" is from the Latin "confundere," meaning "to mingle together."

What is the pronunciation of confuse?

Confuse is pronounced as /kənˈfjuz/.

Is confuse a vowel or consonant?

The word "confuse" starts with a consonant.

Is confuse a countable noun?

"Confuse" is not a noun; it's a verb, and thus does not have a countable form.

Is the word confuse a Gerund?

The gerund form of "confuse" is "confusing."

Which determiner is used with confuse?

Determiners are not typically used directly with "confuse" since it is a verb, but they may be used with the noun forms of actions or objects related to the verb, e.g., "the confusing instructions."

Is the confuse term a metaphor?

"Confuse" can be used metaphorically to describe situations or actions that lead to a lack of clarity or understanding.

Is the word “confuse” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

In a sentence, "confuse" is a verb, and what gets confused would be the direct object, e.g., "The noise confuses the dog."

What is the plural form of confuse?

As a verb, "confuse" does not have a plural form; it changes form based on tense, not number.

What is the opposite of confuse?

The opposite of confuse is "clarify" or "enlighten."

Which vowel is used before confuse?

The use of a vowel before "confuse" depends on the article or adjective preceding it, not on "confuse" itself.

Which article is used with confuse?

Articles are not typically used directly with "confuse" since it is a verb. However, when referring to the act or state of being confused, articles like "the" can be used, e.g., "The confusion was evident."

Is confuse a noun or adjective?

"Confuse" is a verb. It is not typically used as a noun or adjective.

Is confuse an abstract noun?

No, "confuse" is not an abstract noun; it's a verb.

Is confuse a negative or positive word?

"Confuse" is generally considered a negative word, as it implies a lack of clarity or understanding.

Which preposition is used with confuse?

Prepositions like "with," "by," or "about" can be used with "confuse," depending on the context, e.g., "Confused by the rules."

Which conjunction is used with confuse?

Conjunctions such as "and," "but," or "or" can be used in sentences with "confuse," depending on the sentence structure.

What is another term for confuse?

Another term for confuse is "bewilder" or "perplex."

Is confuse an adverb?

No, "confuse" is not an adverb.

Is confuse a collective noun?

No, "confuse" is not a collective noun.

Is the word confuse imperative?

"Confuse" can be used in the imperative form as a command, e.g., "Confuse the enemy."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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