verb (discomfits, discomfiting, discomfited)[with object]
- 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. Further, discomfit is a verb and discomfort is primarily a noun. But in modern use, their principal meanings as a verb have collapsed into one: ‘make (someone) feel uneasy.’.
- More example sentences
- This will spare you the discomfiture of having to discuss the realities of sex before your daughter is intellectually and emotionally ready to understand.
- Football brings good days and bad days, days when your heart sings with the disbelief of achieving what seemed impossible and days when your ears ring with the discomfiture of loss.
- The second most important person in the country had not yet fully recovered from the electoral shock, but his discomfiture at the party was made worse by his visible loneliness.