verb (discomfits, discomfiting, discomfited)[with object]
- Make (someone) feel uneasy or embarrassed: he was not noticeably discomfited by her toneMore example sentences
embarrass, make uncomfortable, make uneasy, abash, disconcert, nonplus, discompose, discomfort, take aback, unsettle, unnerve, put someone off their stroke, ruffle, confuse, fluster, agitate, disorientate, upset, disturb, perturb, distress; chagrin, mortify• informal faze, rattle, discombobulate, set someone back on their heels, make someone laugh on the other side of their faceNorth American • informal make someone laugh out of the other side of their mouth
- The overused phrase ‘politically correct’ is usually code for something newish that discomfits the writer.
- Tight-lipped, he appeared discomfited by the questions thrown at him, and relied on streams of impenetrable government-speak for his responses.
- The poor boy was clearly discomfited, but we can never resist a mystery, so he gulped out an answer.
Middle English (in the sense 'defeat in battle'): from Old French desconfit, past participle of desconfire, based on Latin dis- (expressing reversal) + conficere 'put together' (see confection).
The words discomfit and discomfort are etymologically unrelated but in modern use their principal meanings as a verb have collapsed into one: ‘make someone feel uneasy’.