Discomfit vs Discomfort | Are they synonyms?

Discomfit and discomfort are the most confusing words when we use them to make a sentence. In the sentence, they can be used as synonyms sometimes, and sometimes not. Let's see them in detail.



Discomfit vs. Discomfort, discomfit, discomfort; discomfit or discomfort




    Let's get started with their origin:
     The American Heritage says about their origin: 
    It is true that discomfit originally meant "to defeat, frustrate," and that its newer use meaning "to embarrass, disconcert," probably arose in part through confusion with discomfort. But the newer sense is now the most common use of the verb in all varieties of writing and should be considered entirely standard.

    What is the meaning of Discomfit?

    Discomfit means to cause somebody feel disturbed, confused, or unset. Your dog discomfits you, when it continuously licks your leg. You feel discomfited when you don't know how to speak English.
    • Modi has regularly discomfited Rahul Gandhi in parliament.
    • Powell’s star power with the American public discomfited colleagues and conservative activists outside government.

    What is the meaning of Discomfort?

    As a noun, discomfort is the feeling of pain in the body. Continuous sitting in a chair make you discomfort. You may feel discomfort when you suffer from flu or cold.
    • The corona patients are still experiencing some discomfort.
    • I find discomfort in myself watching abandon dogs.
    • David had some discomfort, but no real pain.
    It also means a feeling of worry, unhappy, upset, etc.
    • His mother felt the discomfort in his voice when he started the speech.
    As a verb, discomfort and discomfit mean the same thing: to make someone uncomfortable, worried, etc.




    How do you remember the meaning  of Discomfort and Discomfit, and their difference?

    Discomfort comes from Dis + comfort; comfort comes from com + fort. Com means together suggesting intensive force and fort means strong from Latin fortis; fort also means a strong building(with this meaning, you can easily memorize that fort means being strong)
    Hence, comfort means more strong, or free from pain. Dis suggests negative and reversing force: discomfort means not strong.

    Discomfit: As you can see the last word fit, fit means to be in proper shape and size. Dis has negative connotation. Hence discomfit means not fit, not in proper state of mind: disturbed, upset, confused, etc.

    Are Discomfort and Discomfit synonyms?

    Yes, they become synonyms when they are used as verb.

    The Columbia Guide to Standard American English says:
    The verb discomfit once meant " to defeat or to frustrate completely," but because of their similarity in sound and spelling discomfit and discomfort have become synonyms in the sense "to make uncomfortable."It more says, " The noun of choice seems to be discomfort, and it is in increasingly wide Standard use; discomfit may be turning into the verb of choice."


    Important Point
    Antonym of discomfort is comfort.
    But, antonym of discomfit is not comfit .
    Comfit means a sweet/candy consisting of a nut, seed or fruit covered with sugar.

    Discomfiture is the noun of discomfit.

    Discomforture is a wrong word.

    In a nutshell
    Discomfit is commonly used as a verb, whereas discomfort is much more commonly used as a noun than a verb.

    People still use the original meaning discomfit meaning to defeat an enemy in battle.




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