Other forms: confounded; confounding; confounds

If you have an identical twin, you've probably tried dressing alike so that people confound you with, or mistake you for, one another. You've also probably learned that, unfortunately, this trick doesn’t work on your mom.

The verb confound means both "to mistake" and "to confuse." If you decide to treat yourself to a delicious dessert, you might find yourself confounded by the overwhelming number of choices. If you end up ordering the chocolate cake but the waiter brings you chocolate mousse, the waiter has somehow confounded those two options. Another meaning you may come across in literature is "to damn," as in "Confound it! You are the most exasperating person on the planet."

Definitions of confound
  1. verb
    be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly
    synonyms: bedevil, befuddle, confuse, discombobulate, fox, fuddle, throw
    confuse, disconcert, flurry, put off
    cause to feel embarrassment
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    demoralise, demoralize
    confuse or put into disorder
    amaze, baffle, beat, bewilder, dumbfound, flummox, get, gravel, mystify, nonplus, perplex, pose, puzzle, stick, stupefy, vex
    be a mystery or bewildering to
    disorient, disorientate
    cause to be lost or disoriented
    mix up, stump
    cause to be perplexed or confounded
    set a difficult problem or riddle
    elude, escape
    be incomprehensible to; escape understanding by
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  2. verb
    mistake one thing for another
    synonyms: conflate, confuse
    blur, confuse, obnubilate, obscure
    make unclear, indistinct, or blurred
    confuse, jumble, mix up
    assemble without order or sense
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    type of:
    misidentify, mistake
    identify incorrectly
  3. verb
    hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of
    synonyms: baffle, bilk, cross, foil, frustrate, queer, scotch, scuttle, spoil, thwart
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    disappoint, let down
    fail to meet the hopes or expectations of
    destroy or break
    hamper the progress of; impede
    destroy or cause to fail
    betray, fail
    disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake
    come short, fall short
    fail to meet (expectations or standards)
    disenchant, disillusion
    free from enchantment
    cause the ruin or downfall of
    cause the failure or ruin of
    ruin utterly
    type of:
    forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, preempt, prevent
    keep from happening or arising; make impossible
  4. verb
    overthrow by argument, evidence, or proof
    synonyms: rebut, refute
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    contradict, controvert, oppose
    be resistant to
    give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument)
    blackball, negative, veto
    vote against; refuse to endorse; refuse to assent
    dissent, protest, resist
    express opposition through action or words
    type of:
    disown, renounce, repudiate
    cast off
  5. verb
    (mild expletive) consign to eternal punishment; bring to perdition
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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘confound'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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