Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

confuse - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] confuse pronunciation in American English /kənˈfjuz/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleconfusing
past tenseconfused
past participleconfused
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to make someone feel that they do not understand something

    If you don’t explain clearly, you’ll just confuse the reader.

    Customers are confused by the range of products for sale.

  2. 2
    to make something more complicated or difficult to understand

    This latest piece of information only confuses the issue further.

    to confuse things/matters:

    To confuse matters, each of the experts says something different.

  3. 3
    to think wrongly that a person or thing is someone or something else

    It’s easy to confuse them because they’re so similar.

    confuse someone/something with someone/something:

    It’s easy to confuse success with happiness.



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play