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con·fuse (kən-fyz)
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v. con·fused, con·fus·ing, con·fus·es
v.tr.
1.
a. To cause to be unable to think with clarity or act with intelligence or understanding; bewilder or perplex.
b. Archaic To cause to feel embarrassment.
2.
a. To fail to differentiate (one person or thing) from another: confused effusiveness with affection.
b. To make more complex or difficult to understand: "The old labels ... confuse debate instead of clarifying it" (Christopher Lasch).
v.intr.
To make something unclear or incomprehensible: a new tax code that only confuses.

[Middle English confusen, from Old French confus, perplexed, from Latin cōnfūsus, past participle of cōnfundere, to mix together; see CONFOUND.]

con·fusa·ble adj.
con·fusing·ly adv.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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