v. con·fused, con·fus·ing, con·fus·es
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.
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).
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.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus