Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To cause to become confused or perplexed. See Synonyms at puzzle.
  • transitive v. To fail to distinguish; mix up: confound fiction and fact.
  • transitive v. To make (something bad) worse: Do not confound the problem by losing your temper.
  • transitive v. To cause to be ashamed; abash: an invention that confounded the skeptics.
  • transitive v. To damn.
  • transitive v. To frustrate: trivial demands that confounded the peace talks.
  • transitive v. Archaic To bring to ruination.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

Etymologies

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.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman cunfundre, from Old French confondre. (Wiktionary)

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

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

    Exilius

  • 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

  • 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.

    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

  • Fayyad spoke to the Los Angeles Times about what work still needs to be done, whether he'd like to be Palestinian Authority president one day and why he continues to "confound"

    latimes.com - News

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