To perplex someone is to amaze, baffle, bewilder, dumbfound, flummox, mystify, or puzzle them. Perplexing things are hard to understand.

If you're perplexed, then you're confused. Different things perplex different people. In football, a tricky defense will perplex a quarterback. Complicated formulas can perplex math students. When people do weird things, it can be perplexing. Anything hard to understand might perplex you. Perplexing also means to make something more complicated. So when you see the word perplex, think "Huh?"

Definitions of perplex
  1. verb
    be a mystery or bewildering to
    synonyms: amaze, baffle, beat, bewilder, dumbfound, flummox, get, gravel, mystify, nonplus, pose, puzzle, stick, stupefy, vex
    see moresee less
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    mix up, stump
    cause to be perplexed or confounded
    set a difficult problem or riddle
    elude, escape
    be incomprehensible to; escape understanding by
    defy, refuse, resist
    elude, especially in a baffling way
    type of:
    bedevil, befuddle, confound, confuse, discombobulate, fox, fuddle, throw
    be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly
  2. verb
    make more complicated
    synonyms: complicate
    see moresee less
    make simpler or easier or reduce in complexity or extent
    make complex
    embrangle, snarl, snarl up
    make more complicated or confused through entanglements
    cause to be in a state of complete confusion
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week