Definition of confound in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈfaʊnd/


[with object]
1Cause surprise or confusion in (someone), especially by not according with their expectations: the inflation figure confounded economic analysts
More example sentences
  • So again like a good politician I shall try to tailor my ideology to make it sound more attuned to a reality that surprises and confounds me.
  • The movie never attempts to surprise or confound us.
  • If you're a fan of either of these artists then this release isn't going to surprise or confound you.
amaze, astonish, dumbfound, stagger, surprise, startle, stun, stupefy, daze, nonplus;
throw, shake, unnerve, disconcert, discompose, dismay, bewilder, set someone thinking, baffle, mystify, bemuse, perplex, puzzle, confuse;
take someone's breath away, take by surprise, take aback, shake up, stop someone in their tracks, strike dumb, leave open-mouthed, leave aghast, catch off balance
North American informal buffalo
informal flabbergast, floor, knock for six, knock sideways, knock out, knock the stuffing out of someone, bowl over, blow someone's mind, blow away, flummox, discombobulate, faze, stump, beat, fox, make someone scratch their head, be all Greek to, fog
archaic wilder, gravel, maze, cause to be at a stand, distract, pose
rare obfuscate
1.1Prove (a theory or expectation) wrong: the rise in prices confounded expectations
More example sentences
  • At the same time, the electorate behaves now and then in totally unexpected ways - throwing up verdicts that confound popular expectation.
  • If we think of the average 18th-century male as being a condescending misogynist, then this man confounds our expectations.
  • Instead what you get is something inventive and of the moment - they play tunes from their CD's, but they also like mixing stuff up and confounding expectations.
invalidate, negate, contradict, counter, go against, discredit, give the lie to, drive a coach and horses through;
quash, explode, demolish, shoot down, destroy;
disprove, prove wrong, prove false, falsify
informal shoot full of holes, blow sky-high
rare controvert, confute, negative
1.2Defeat (a plan, aim, or hope): we will confound these tactics by the pressure groups
More example sentences
  • Parties and plans often confound the best intentions to live healthfully.
  • Perhaps the anti-gambling lobby group has a person on the inside, confounding design plans, adding irrelevant bells, whistles and flashing lights.
  • He's absolutely incredulous about my becoming a pastor, as if it has confounded his tactics against my authority as his father and given me some extra power he is not prepared to contend with…
1.3 archaic Overthrow (an enemy): God chose to use natural disorders to confound Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt
More example sentences
  • We trust that the Lord will confound all your enemies.
2Mix up (something) with something else: he was forever confounding managerialism with idealism
More example sentences
  • Neither should right be confounded with wrong.
  • Do not confound it with cowardice or ill-temper.
  • But this attempt to confound nationality with race is no better than the Russian attempt to confound it with unity of religion.


Used to express anger or annoyance: oh confound it, where is the thing?


Middle English: from Old French confondre, from Latin confundere 'pour together, mix up'. Compare with confuse.

  • confuse from Middle English:

    The early meanings of confuse were ‘rout’ and ‘bring to ruin’. The word comes via French from Latin confundere ‘mingle together, mix up’. Confound (Middle English) comes from the same word.

Words that rhyme with confound

abound, aground, around, astound, bound, compound, dumbfound, expound, found, ground, hound, impound, interwound, mound, pound, profound, propound, redound, round, sound, stoneground, surround, theatre-in-the-round (US theater-in-the-round), underground, wound

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|found

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