Confuse, Bewilder, Confound, Dumbfound

When to use  confuse, bewilder, confound, and dumbfound in a sentence?

The word confuse is common in these words. However, they are used differently in a sentence. We should not use them as synonyms.

    What is the meaning of confuse ?

    Confuse means unable to think or understand something clearly.

    to make something difficult to understand

    1. Student speech confused the teachers.
    2. The thief was trying to confuse the police.

    What is the meaning of bewilder ?

    Bewilder means to confuse somebody very much.

    1. Our PM decision bewildered the nation.
    2. I was completely bewildered by his speech.

    What is the meaning of confound ?

    Confound means to confuse and surprise somebody.

    1. The murder case has confounded investigators.
    2. The sudden rise in share prices has confounded economists.

    What is the meaning of dumbfound ?

    Dumbfound means to surprise or shock somebody to much that they are unable to speak.

    1. She dumbfounded her mother by her reply.
    2. Boss dumbfounded his employees by giving bonus.

    Usage of confuse, bewilder, confound, and dumbfound:-

    Bewilder suggests to confuse to the point of paralyzing your mind; you become unable to think properly. As the word suggests "be wild" ; if something or someone bewilders you start behaving like wild. Wild means out of control.

    • A complicated math problem may bewilder you if you are weak in math.

    Confound suggests intentionally doing of something that may confuse or surprise you. 

    • Suddenly visiting of your class teacher your home may confound you.


    Dumbfound suggests acute emotional shock that leaves one speechless. The word dumbfound is a combination of the two words dumb and confound.

    Dumb means unable to speak and confound means to confuse. Hence dumbfound means to confuse to the point of speechlessness.

    Suppose your favorite actor suddenly come to meet you. This act may dumbfound you.
    • Suddenly meeting with your favorite actor may dumbfound you.

    The word confuse is very common amongst these words. The word confuse can be used in place of these words. 

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