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
  1. verb
    cause to lose one's composure
    synonyms: discompose, disconcert, rattle, 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, harrow
    cause to feel distress
    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, pique, provoke, raise
    call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
Commonly confused words

discomfit / discomfort

To discomfit is to embarrass someone. Say it with a Southern accent while sipping sweet tea. Discomfort is a noun meaning uncomfortable, like the feeling you get when you realize you put salt instead of sugar in Mama’s tea.

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