perplex [per-pleks] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin verb (used with object)
- to cause to be puzzled or bewildered over what is not understood or certain; confuse mentally: Her strange response perplexed me.
- to make complicated or confused, as a matter or question.
- to hamper with complications, confusion, or uncertainty.
Origin of perplex First recorded in 1585–95; back formation fromRelated formsper·plex·er, nounper·plex·ing·ly, adverbun·per·plex·ing, adjectiveSynonyms for perplex 1. , . 2. , . 3. , , . Examples from the Web for perplexingly Contemporary Examples of perplexingly
Yet, perplexingly, in many cases, imposing sanctions is perceived to be sufficient to address a complex problem.
Meghan L. O’Sullivan
May 13, 2014
Historical Examples of perplexingly
Nearly all women are perplexingly interesting as human beings.
Papa was looking almost as perplexingly young as she, and I made up the little party to the number of the Graces.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
That evidence, as it now lies before us, is perplexingly various both in content and quality.
Frederick W. H. Myers
Cecil rounded one of his perplexingly empty sentences and turned on his heel.
Certainly, few people were ever more fortunately, or perplexingly placed, than I am just now.
British Dictionary definitions for perplexingly perplex verb (tr)
- to puzzle; bewilder; confuse
- to complicateto perplex an issue
Word Origin for perplex C15: from obsolete perplex (adj) intricate, from Latin perplexus entangled, from per- (thoroughly) + plectere to entwine Word Origin and History for perplexingly perplex v.
late 14c. as an adjective, “perplexed, puzzled, bewildered,” from Latin perplexus “involved, confused, intricate;” but Latin had no corresponding verb *perplectere. The Latin compound would be per “through” (see) + plexus “entangled,” past participle of plectere “to twine, braid, fold” (see (adj.)).
The form of the English adjective shifted to perplexed by late 15c., probably to conform to other past participle adjectives. The verb is latest attested of the group, in 1590s, evidently a back-formation from the adjective. Related: Perplexing, which well describes the history of the word.