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

  • noun The act of confusing or the state of being confused.
  • noun An instance of being confused.
  • noun Psychology Impaired orientation with respect to time, place, or person; a disturbed mental state.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of confusing or mingling together two or more things or notions properly separate; the act or process of becoming confused or thrown together in disorder, so as to conceal or obliterate original differences, etc.
  • noun The state of being confused or mixed together, literally or figuratively; an indiscriminate or disorderly mingling; disorder; tumultuous condition: as, the confusion of the crowd.
  • noun The state of having confused or indistinct ideas; lack of clearness of thought.
  • noun Perturbation of mind; embarrassment; abashment; trouble; distraction.
  • noun Overthrow; destruction; ruin.
  • noun One who confuses; a confounder; a troubler.
  • noun In civil law, merger of two titles in the same person.
  • noun In civil law and Scots law, an extinction of an obligation or servitude by the fact that the two persons whose divided position is requisite for the continuance of a debt become one person, for example, when one becomes the heir of the other.
  • noun Synonyms Derangement, jumble, chaos, turmoil.
  • noun Perplexity, bewilderment, distraction, mortification.

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

  • noun The state of being mixed or blended so as to produce indistinctness or error; indistinct combination; disorder; tumult.
  • noun The state of being abashed or disconcerted; loss self-possession; perturbation; shame.
  • noun Overthrow; defeat; ruin.
  • noun obsolete One who confuses; a confounder.
  • noun (Law) the intermixture of the goods of two or more persons, so that their respective portions can no longer be distinguished.

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

  • noun A lack of clarity or order.
  • noun The state of being confused; not understanding.

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

  • noun an act causing a disorderly combination of elements with identities lost and distinctions blended
  • noun a mistake that results from taking one thing to be another
  • noun a mental state characterized by a lack of clear and orderly thought and behavior
  • noun a feeling of embarrassment that leaves you confused
  • noun disorder resulting from a failure to behave predictably


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French confusion.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word confusion.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A group of weasels

    November 16, 2007

  • I know someone who claims to have this ability to overwhelmingly confuse and befuddle others. Also sometimes called incomprehensibility.

    May 15, 2008

  • this word comes to mind when i think of how to share lists with others on wordie. hmmm....

    February 18, 2009

  • And there he sits, munching and gnawing, and looking up at the great cross on the summit of St. Paul's Cathedral, glittering above a red-and-violet-tinted cloud of smoke. From the boy's face one might suppose that sacred emblem to be, in his eyes, the crowning confusion of the great, confused city--so golden, so high up, so far out of his reach.

    -Charles Dickens Bleak House

    Another of my very favourite quotes.

    July 26, 2009