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perplex, clarify, enlighten, explain


TOEFL 4, Confusion and Misunderstanding, Middle School 13, Puzzlement and Perplexity



How to pronounce confound (audio)


Dictionary definition of confound

To cause confusion, perplexity, or bewilderment in someone or something.
"The patient's symptoms confound the doctors, making diagnosis difficult."

Detailed meaning of confound

When you confound a situation or an individual, you create a state of uncertainty or puzzlement by making something difficult to understand or explain. This term implies a disruption of clarity or order, often leaving people feeling perplexed or at a loss for an explanation. In a broader sense, "confound" can also mean to prove something wrong or contradict it in a surprising or unexpected way, further contributing to the sense of confusion. It is a versatile word used to describe situations where things become muddled or defy easy comprehension, causing a state of disarray or surprise.

Example sentences containing confound

1. The magician's tricks confound the audience.
2. The complex math problem confounds even the brightest students.
3. The unexpected turn of events confounded the investigators.
4. The scientist's groundbreaking discovery confounds previous theories.
5. The professor's lecture on quantum physics confounded the students.
6. The maze was designed to confound anyone attempting to navigate through it.

History and etymology of confound

The verb 'confound' has an intriguing etymology rooted in Latin and Old French. It can be traced back to the Latin word 'confundere,' which is a combination of 'con,' meaning 'together,' and 'fundere,' meaning 'to pour' or 'to melt.' In its original Latin usage, 'confundere' referred to the act of mixing different substances together, akin to pouring them into a common mass. This notion of mixing or blending was later extended metaphorically to describe the act of causing confusion or perplexity. As the term transitioned into Old French and then into English, 'confound' retained its association with the idea of mixing or blending things together in a way that leads to bewilderment or confusion. Therefore, when we say something is 'confounding,' we are invoking its historical connection to the mingling of elements and the resulting state of perplexity or bewilderment.

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Further usage examples of confound

1. The contradictory statements from the witness confounded the jury.
2. The mysterious disappearance of the artifacts continues to confound historians.
3. The intricate puzzle confounds puzzle enthusiasts.
4. The conflicting information confounded the researchers.
5. The intricate plot of the movie confounded the viewers.
6. The intricate dance routine confounded the performers during rehearsals.
7. The foreign language confounds me; I can't understand a word.
8. The results of the experiment confound our initial expectations.
9. The sudden change in weather confounded the forecasters.
10. The politician's contradictory statements confound the public.
11. The magician's sleight of hand techniques confound even other magicians.
12. The complicated legal case confounds the lawyers involved.
13. The paradoxical nature of the situation confounds logical reasoning.
14. The new evidence confounded the researchers and challenged their initial hypothesis.

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