Perplexity is confusion that results from something being complicated. The instruction manuals for computer components might put a look of perplexity on your face.

If you think of the word complexity — which is when something is really intricate or involves lots of complicated parts — it might help you remember that perplexity is the state that results from complexity. You might experience perplexity at the complexity of the plays your coach has diagrammed, or perplexity at the complicated menu options at an Indian restaurant.

Definitions of perplexity

n trouble or confusion resulting from complexity

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closed book, enigma, mystery, secret
something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained
maze, snarl, tangle
something jumbled or confused
dilemma, quandary
state of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavorable options
double bind
(psychology) an unresolvable dilemma; situation in which a person receives contradictory messages from a person who is very powerful
Type of:
confusedness, confusion, disarray, mental confusion, muddiness
a mental state characterized by a lack of clear and orderly thought and behavior

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