Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To cause to become confused or perplexed. synonym: perplex.
  • transitive verb To fail to distinguish; mix up.
  • transitive verb To make (something bad) worse.
  • transitive verb To cause to be ashamed; abash.
  • transitive verb Used in mild curses.
  • transitive verb To frustrate or thwart.
  • transitive verb Archaic To defeat or overthrow (an enemy).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To mingle confusedly together; mix indiscriminately, so that individuals, parts, or elements cannot be distinguished; throw into disorder; confuse.
  • To treat or regard erroneously as identical: mix or associate by mistake.
  • To throw into confusion; perplex with sudden disturbance, terror, or surprise; stupefy with amazement.
  • To destroy; bring to naught; overthrow; ruin; spoil.
  • Hence such interjectional phrases as confound it! confound the fellow! which are relics of the fuller imprecations, God confound it! God confound the fellow ! etc.
  • To waste or spend uselessly, as time.
  • Synonyms See list under confuse. Confuse, etc. See abash.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To mingle and blend, so that different elements can not be distinguished; to confuse.
  • transitive verb To mistake for another; to identify falsely.
  • transitive verb To throw into confusion or disorder; to perplex; to strike with amazement; to dismay.
  • transitive verb obsolete To destroy; to ruin; to waste.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To confuse; to mix up; to puzzle.
  • verb To fail to see the difference; to mix up; to confuse right and wrong.
  • verb To make something worse.
  • verb To cause to be ashamed; to abash.
  • verb To defeat, to frustrate, to thwart.
  • verb dated To damn (a mild oath).
  • verb archaic To bring to ruination.
  • verb To stun, amaze
  • noun statistics a confounding variable

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly
  • verb mistake one thing for another

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English confounden, from Anglo-Norman confundre, from Latin cōnfundere, to mix together, confuse : com-, com- + fundere, to pour; see gheu- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman cunfundre, from Old French confondre.

Examples

  • Then he looked around, saying, How I wish that tug boat would hurry up; no more ten years spent in – confound it! what IS the name of that place?

    Man's Rights: or, How Would You Like It?

  • Don't let the long product name confound you: this adapter is very easy to use and comes with software that will let you burn DVDs.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • He rushed upon Kanmakan, and they wheeled about awhile, giving blows and taking blows such as confound the sprite and dim the sight; but Kanmakan was the first to smite the foe a swashing blow, that rove through turband and iron skull cap and reached his head, and he fell from his steed with the fall of a camel when he rolleth over.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Now he loved science and geometry, and one festival-day as he sat on his kingly throne there came in to him three wise men, cunning artificers and past masters in all manner of craft and inventions, skilled in making things curious and rare, such as confound the wit; and versed in the knowledge of occult truths and perfect in mysteries and subtleties.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • I see nothing but Danger and Distress, such as confound my Resolution, and non − plus my Courage.

    Exilius

  • And it does kind of confound some of us as to why we can ` t do it.

    CNN Transcript Oct 8, 2007

  • I say "confound" because wild rice isn't rice and it isn't grown in California.

    Asparagus Roundup VI

  • I say "confound" because wild rice isn't rice and it isn't grown in California.

    Herbal Triptych

  • "Confound their politics" -- There are some people even at this day who think that "confound" in the National Anthem is a mild and rather polite swear-word.

    The History and Significance of The National Anthem

  • He rushed upon Kanmakan, who met him in mid-career, and they wheeled about awhile in the dint of battle, exchanging blows such as confound the wit and dim the sight, till Kanmakan took the other at vantage and smote him a swashing blow, that shore through turban and iron skull-cap and reached his head, and he fell from his saddle, as a camel falls, when he rolls over.

    The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Volume II

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