discombobulate

Discombobulate is a fun, fancy word for “confuse.” If something has put you in a state where you don't know up from down and you can't spell your own name, you may be discombobulated.

Discombobulate kind of sounds like you feel when you're disoriented: bouncing around in several directions at once. Trying to say discombobulate for the first time might discombobulate you! Because of its funny sound, discombobulate is often used in a humorous way. Are you ready to assemble some furniture, or are you too discombobulated after reading the instructions?

Definitions of discombobulate
  1. verb
    cause to be confused emotionally
    synonyms: bemuse, bewilder, throw
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    type of:
    discomfit, discompose, disconcert, rattle, untune, upset
    cause to lose one's composure
  2. verb
    be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly
    synonyms: bedevil, befuddle, confound, confuse, fox, fuddle, throw
    confuse, disconcert, flurry, put off
    cause to feel embarrassment
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    types:
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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
    riddle
    set a difficult problem or riddle
    elude, escape
    be incomprehensible to; escape understanding by
    type of:
    be
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
Commonly confused words

Getting "Discombobulated" on Lexicon Valley

On Lexicon Valley, Slate's podcast about language, I'm taking part in a regular feature. I come prepared with a mystery word, and the hosts have to guess the word itself and its origins.

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