To discomfit someone is to make them feel uncomfortable or upset. An easy way to discomfit another person is to use the age-old, childish trick of ignoring them. (Of course, we’re sure you would never do that, right? Right?)

If you make someone blush, sweat, and generally want to disappear, you’ve discomfited her. Centuries ago, discomfit was used to mean “destroy completely in battle” — an experience that surely left the defeated armies feeling something more than mere discomfort. Some scholars have suggested that the contemporary meaning of discomfit arose due to confusion with the word discomfort. Don’t be discomfited by choosing the wrong word; use this word to mean “embarrass.”

Definitions of discomfit

v cause to lose one's composure

discompose, disconcert, untune, upset
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enervate, faze, unnerve, unsettle
disturb the composure of
cause to lose control emotionally
bemuse, bewilder, discombobulate, throw
cause to be confused emotionally
abash, embarrass
cause to be embarrassed; cause to feel self-conscious
anguish, hurt, pain
cause emotional anguish or make miserable
cause great unhappiness for; distress
cause to lose one's nerve
confuse, disconcert, flurry, put off
cause to feel embarrassment
break someone's heart
cause deep emotional pain and grief to somebody
agonise, agonize
cause to agonize
aggrieve, grieve
cause to feel sorrow
oppress or trouble greatly
strain, stress, try
test the limits of
give pain or trouble to
excruciate, rack, torment, torture
torment emotionally or mentally
Type of:
arouse, elicit, enkindle, evoke, fire, kindle, provoke, raise
call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)

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