from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A muddled or confused state or condition.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Such a thing happened in Babylon once; there had been a Sargon in remote antiquity with great deeds to his credit; thousands of years after, another Sargon arose, who envied his fame; and, being a kind, and absolute, decreed that all the years intervening should never have existed -- merged his own in the personality of his remote predecessor, and so provided a good deal of muddlement for archaeologists to come.
Green cocoa-nut juice and rum mixed together are pleasant enough to drink, but they are better drunk separately; combined, not even the brain of an old sailor can make anything of them but mist and muddlement; that is to say, in the way of thought -- in the way of action they can make him do a lot.
He learned to know all their strange and naïve humours, their ignorance and muddlement.
Once achieved and installed it may always be trusted to make the poor seeker feel he would have blushed to the roots of his hair for failing of it; yet, how, as its virtue can be essentially but the virtue of the whole, the wayside traps set in the interest of muddlement and pleading but the cause of the moment, of the particular bit in itself, have to be kicked out of the path!
Impossible to conceive two less dashing champions for a threatened race; and there is no doubt they were reduced to the extremity of muddlement and childish fear.
Science fiction writer H.G. Wells said at the time it gave "in one eddying concentration almost every possible foolishness, cliche, platitude, and muddlement about mechanical progress and progress in general served up with a sauce of sentimentality that is all its own."
"It may suit you to sit boozing at the Maid's Head, telling all you know and guessing much that you don't: here's wishing your early muddlement before you get on the subject of this wood!