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

  • noun Frustration or disappointment.
  • noun Lack of ease; perplexity and embarrassment.
  • noun Defeat.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Rout; defeat in battle; overthrow.
  • noun Defeat; frustration; disappointment.

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

  • noun The act of discomfiting, or the state of being discomfited; rout; overthrow; defeat; frustration; confusion and dejection.

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

  • noun A feeling of frustration, disappointment, perplexity or embarrassment.

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

  • noun anxious embarrassment


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • I'm trying not to enjoy it, but the National Post's discomfiture is something to behold.

    Archive 2009-05-01 2009

  • Sir, if this be a sample of that discomfiture with which the honorable gentleman threatened me, commend me to the word discomfiture for the rest of my life.

    Select Speeches of Daniel Webster Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852 1903

  • The devil, realising that he had been fooled, disappeared in an awe-inspiring cloud of smoke and sulphur fumes; but the bridge remained, and its name to this day recalls the discomfiture of his evil plans.

    Legend Land, Vol. 1 Being a collection of some of the Old Tales told in those Western Parts of Britain served by The Great Western Railway. George Basil Barham

  • The frank smile that told of his lordship's enjoyment of her discomfiture was the last straw.

    Out of the Primitive Robert Ames Bennet 1912

  • Whenever the hoax was spoken of, Judge Harvey writhed with personal humiliation, and with anger against the person who had recalled his discomfiture, and with a desire for vengeance against the perpetrator of the swindle.

    No. 13 Washington Square Leroy Scott 1902

  • I recall the discomfiture of a certain well-known philanthropist, since deceased, whose heart beat responsive to other suffering than that of human kind.

    XXIV. What Has Been Done 1890

  • His discomfiture was the more complete since he felt that his defeat was owing to some mistake in his methods, and not the incorrigibility of his subject.

    Selected Stories of Bret Harte Bret Harte 1869

  • In a few minutes the flagstaff was well washed, and the derveesh too, and put to flight in discomfiture.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia 1856

  • Koreish, compelled the Abyssinians to a disgraceful retreat: their discomfiture has been adorned with a miraculous flight of birds, who showered down stones on the heads of the infidels; and the deliverance was long commemorated by the aera of the elephant.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1206

  • a modest expression of "discomfiture" on reading of American authors

    Complete Essays Charles Dudley Warner 1864


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  • discomfit used to used as "to be defeated"

    c.1225, from O.Fr. desconfit, pp. of desconfire "to defeat, destroy," from des- "not" + confire "make, prepare, accomplish." Weaker sense of "disconcert" is first recorded 1530 in Eng., probably by confusion with discomfort (q.v.).

    March 29, 2008