Definition of perplexity in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /pəˈplɛksɪti/

noun (plural perplexities)

[mass noun]
1Inability to deal with or understand something: she paused in perplexity
More example sentences
  • They gazed at her work with puzzled perplexity.
  • Confusion and perplexity characterise the political establishment everywhere.
  • The ambivalence from the clash of voices results in mental and emotional states of perplexity.
1.1 [count noun] (usually perplexities) A complicated or baffling situation or thing: the perplexities of international relations
More example sentences
  • Outside the train, the concert footage is mingled with modern-day interviews, much of them regarding the political perplexities at the time.
  • The novel explores the meaning of enlightenment, and the perplexities of reconciling the ineffable and the everyday.
  • Because the characters' moral perplexities are so carefully rendered throughout, they are captivating to the end.
complexity, complication, intricacy, problem, difficulty, dilemma, mystery, puzzle, enigma, paradox, obscurity;
2 archaic An entangled state: the dense perplexity of dwarf palm, garlanded creepers, glossy undergrowth


Middle English: from Old French perplexite or late Latin perplexitas, from Latin perplexus 'entangled, confused' (see perplex).

Words that rhyme with perplexity


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: per¦plex|ity

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.