Something that's confusing doesn't make any sense — it perplexes you. A confusing, hand-drawn map might lead you in circles as you try to find your destination.

It can be confusing to walk out of a dark movie theater into the bright sunlight, or to get a phone call from someone whose voice you don't recognize. Situations like this disorient you a little bit. Things that are difficult and complicated, like a really hard math test, can also be confusing. The adjective comes from confuse, which has a Latin root, confundere, "mingle together."

Definitions of confusing

adj causing confusion or disorientation

“a confusing jumble of road signs”
“being hospitalized can be confusing and distressing for a small child”
causing loss of physical or intellectual bearings

adj lacking clarity of meaning; causing confusion or perplexity

“sent confusing signals to Iraq”
perplexing, puzzling
not clear to the mind

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