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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce perplexity (audio)

Dictionary definition of perplexity

A state of being puzzled, confused, or uncertain about something.
"The intricate plot of the mystery novel left me in a state of perplexity until the very end."

Detailed meaning of perplexity

It is a mental or emotional state characterized by a lack of clarity, comprehension, or understanding. When faced with a perplexing situation or problem, individuals experience a sense of bewilderment and often struggle to find a satisfactory solution or explanation. Perplexity can arise from encountering complex or intricate information, conflicting opinions or perspectives, ambiguous circumstances, or unexpected events. It involves a feeling of cognitive dissonance, where the mind grapples with conflicting or contradictory information, leading to a sense of confusion and uncertainty. In perplexity, individuals may experience a range of emotions, such as frustration, anxiety, or even fascination, as they attempt to make sense of the perplexing situation.

Example sentences containing perplexity

1. The perplexity in her eyes revealed her confusion and uncertainty.
2. I was caught in a state of perplexity as I tried to solve the complex math problem.
3. The sudden disappearance of the key added to the perplexity of the situation.
4. The perplexity on his face indicated that he was grappling with a difficult decision.
5. The perplexity of the foreign language made it challenging for me to communicate effectively.
6. The conflicting advice from experts only added to the perplexity of the health issue.

History and etymology of perplexity

The noun 'perplexity' shares its etymological origins with the verb 'perplex.' It can be traced back to Latin and Old French. In Latin, the verb 'perplexare' meant to entangle or confuse thoroughly, while in Old French, 'perplex' referred to a state of confusion or bewilderment. In Middle English, 'perplexity' emerged to describe the state of being puzzled, confused, or uncertain about something. It retained the sense of mental entanglement or confusion, emphasizing the feeling of being mentally twisted or entwined in uncertainty. The etymology of 'perplexity' underscores its historical connection to the state of confusion and the intricacies of the human mind when faced with perplexing or puzzling situations, making it a suitable term to describe a condition of mental confusion or uncertainty.

Quiz: Find the meaning of perplexity

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Further usage examples of perplexity

1. The unexpected turn of events brought a new level of perplexity to the already complicated situation.
2. The professor's lecture on quantum physics filled the students with perplexity and awe.
3. The intricate maze of rules and regulations created a sense of perplexity for the new employees.
4. The complexity of the philosophical concept left many students in a state of perplexity.
5. The constant changes in technology can often lead to a sense of perplexity among older generations.
6. Her sudden change of heart left me in a state of perplexity.
7. The complexity of the issue added to the general perplexity.
8. The professor's lecture only deepened our perplexity.
9. The maze's intricate design led to a sense of perplexity.
10. The unanswered question hung in the air, causing perplexity.
11. The child's innocent question sparked parental perplexity.
12. The scientific theory was met with widespread perplexity.
13. The mystery novel's plot twists created a sense of perplexity.
14. The foreign language left us in a state of linguistic perplexity.
15. The conflicting information added to the overall perplexity.
16. Solving the puzzle brought relief from the initial perplexity.
17. The sudden disappearance of the artifact led to much perplexity.
18. The cryptic message was met with widespread perplexity.
19. The economic downturn caused widespread financial perplexity.
20. The map's unclear markings led to navigational perplexity.
21. The political situation left many citizens in a state of perplexity.
22. The complex algorithm presented a challenge and perplexity.
23. The unexpected turn of events created a cloud of perplexity.
24. The unresolved debate resulted in ongoing perplexity.
25. The diplomat's vague statement only deepened the perplexity.



confusion, clarity, understanding, certainty


ACT 8 (American College Testing), Obstacles and Hardships, Puzzlement and Perplexity

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