If you're discombobulated, you're confused or thrown off-kilter. A discombobulated soccer player might run the wrong way down the field and kick the ball into her own team's goal.

You'll probably feel a little discombobulated after moving to a new country, especially if it's on the other side of the world. Likewise, if you rearrange your backyard chicken coop, you're bound to have some discombobulated chickens for a while. This early 19th century word was first used in America, and it had a few different spellings, including discombobricate, before it became standardized.

Definitions of discombobulated
  1. adjective
    having self-possession upset; thrown into confusion
    “the hecklers pelted the discombobulated speaker with anything that came to hand”
    synonyms: disconcerted
    having your composure disturbed
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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