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How to pronounce discomfiture (audio)


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Dictionary definition of discomfiture

A state of unease, embarrassment, or frustration experienced when someone is caught off guard or placed in an awkward situation that challenges their confidence or composure.
"Their discomfiture was evident as they struggled to solve the complex problem."

Detailed meaning of discomfiture

It involves feelings of discomfort, confusion, or even a sense of defeat due to unexpected circumstances, social interactions, or events. This emotional state is often characterized by a mixture of vulnerability and self-consciousness, as individuals may find themselves at a loss for how to respond effectively or gracefully in the given circumstances. Discomfiture can arise from a variety of sources, such as public speaking, social encounters, unexpected challenges, or personal failures, leading to an internal struggle to regain a sense of control and poise.

Example sentences containing discomfiture

1. Her sudden discomfiture was evident when she realized she had forgotten her presentation notes.
2. The discomfiture on his face was impossible to miss after he failed the final exam.
3. The unexpected discomfiture of the team's star player threw the entire game into chaos.
4. She tried to hide her discomfiture when her phone rang loudly during the meeting.
5. His discomfiture grew as he stumbled over his words while giving a speech.
6. The discomfiture in the room was palpable when the surprise party was revealed too early.

History and etymology of discomfiture

The noun 'discomfiture' has its etymological roots in Old French and Latin. It is derived from the Old French word 'desconfiture,' which is a combination of 'des-' meaning 'completely' or 'thoroughly,' and 'confiture,' meaning 'defeat' or 'overthrow.' The Old French term was influenced by the Latin word 'disconficere,' which combines 'dis-' and 'conficere,' meaning 'to make' or 'to do.' In its original sense, 'discomfiture' referred to a complete overthrow or defeat in battle. Over time, the term's meaning shifted to describe a state of unease, embarrassment, or frustration experienced when someone is caught off guard or placed in an awkward situation that challenges their confidence or composure. This transformation reflects the idea of being thoroughly unsettled or defeated, albeit in a social or emotional context rather than a military one.

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Further usage examples of discomfiture

1. He couldn't help but chuckle at her discomfiture when she spilled coffee all over her white shirt.
2. The discomfiture of losing his wallet while traveling abroad left him feeling vulnerable.
3. She tried to mask her discomfiture with a forced smile when her mistake was pointed out.
4. The discomfiture in the courtroom was apparent as the witness gave conflicting testimonies.
5. She tried to hide her discomfiture after spilling coffee on her shirt.
6. His discomfiture grew when he realized he was the only one dressed casually at the formal event.
7. The discomfiture on their faces suggested they had not anticipated such a challenging hike.
8. She handled her discomfiture gracefully when her presentation was unexpectedly interrupted.
9. The discomfiture of being caught in a lie was etched across his face.
10. The discomfiture of getting caught in the rain without an umbrella was frustrating.
11. Their discomfiture was evident when they lost the board game for the fifth time in a row.
12. He tried to alleviate her discomfiture by cracking a lighthearted joke.
13. The discomfiture of having to apologize publicly for his mistake was humbling.
14. Her discomfiture turned to relief when she found her lost keys in the last place she looked.
15. Despite the initial discomfiture, they eventually found common ground and became good friends.



discomfort, comfort, ease, confidence


SAT 7 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Embarrassment and Discomfort, Puzzlement and Perplexity

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