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Related to acute confusion: acute confusional state


a. The act of confusing or the state of being confused: Backstage confusion made the rehearsal difficult.
b. An instance of being confused: "After his awakening to Chicano identity, he briefly mastered his inner confusions and found an articulate voice" (David C. Unger).
2. Psychology A mental state involving impaired orientation with respect to time, place, or person.

con·fu′sion·al adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. the act of confusing or the state of being confused
2. disorder; jumble
3. bewilderment; perplexity
4. lack of clarity; indistinctness
5. embarrassment; abashment
conˈfusional adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(kənˈfyu ʒən)

1. the act of confusing.
2. the state of being confused.
3. disorder; upheaval; tumult; chaos: The army retreated in confusion.
4. lack of clearness or distinctness.
5. perplexity; bewilderment.
6. embarrassment or abashment.
7. a disturbed mental state; disorientation.
8. Archaic. defeat, overthrow, or ruin.
[1300–50; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin]
con•fu′sion•al, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


 a confused collection or assemblage. See also chaos, clutter.
Examples: confusion of blocks of stone; of piled blocks, 1835; of persons, 1791.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



at loose ends Unsettled, undecided, lacking direction or goal; uncommitted to one’s present position and uncertain of one’s future status. A loose end is anything that is left hanging or not properly attached, as a piece of fabric or a seemingly superfluous detail. A person is “at loose ends” when his life lacks coherence or a sense of direction as exemplified in the following fragment quoted in Webster’s Third:

… feeling himself at loose ends—no job, no immediate prospects. (Dixon Wecter)

See also tie up the loose ends, COMPLETION.

at sea Confused, perplexed; without direction, design, or stability; in a state of uncertainty. Figurative use of this expression dates from the mid-18th century and is based on an analogy to a ship lost at sea, having no bearings and out of sight of land. At sea can refer to a person or state of affairs. All adrift is an analogous nautical expression with a similar figurative meaning ‘aimless, confused.’

knock for a loop To disorient someone by saying or doing something shocking or unexpected; to strike a blow and cause one to lose balance and fall. The loop in this modern slang expression derives from the aeronautical term for the mid-air maneuver of an airplane. To knock someone for a loop is to hit that person hard enough to make him do a somersault. The feeling of dizziness and disorientation is carried over into the more common figurative use.

That little charade of hers had knocked him for a loop. (D. Ramsey, Deadly Discretion, 1973)

Also current is throw for a loop.

I was really confused. That memorandum threw me for a loop. (E. Ambler, Intercom Conspiracy, 1969)

knock galley-west See COMBAT.

lose one’s bearings To become lost; to lose all sense of direction; to become hopelessly disoriented, confused, or bewildered. In this expression, bearings carries the literal meaning of reference points or directions in relation to one’s position; thus, the term’s use to describe a person who is lost or disoriented.

not know if one is afoot or on horseback So completely confused as to not know what one is doing, thoroughly befuddled or mixed-up; not to know whether one is coming or going. This self-evident American colloquialism dates from the late 19th century.

“Fay Daniels!” gasps the girl, which don’t know if she’s afoot or horseback—and neither did I. (Collier’s, October, 1927)

not to know if one is coming or going Not to know what one is doing; extremely confused or mixed-up; not to know which end is up; ignorant, stupid.

There’s nobody at the Town Hall could take it on. Town Clerk doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. (J. B. Priestley, Fest. Frabridge, 1951)

Use of the phrase dates from at least 1924.

not to know which end is up See IGNORANCE.

not to make head nor tail of See make head or tail of, DIFFERENTIATION.

slaphappy See FATUOUSNESS.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.confusion - disorder resulting from a failure to behave predictablyconfusion - disorder resulting from a failure to behave predictably; "the army retreated in confusion"
disorder - a disturbance of the peace or of public order
demoralisation, demoralization - a state of disorder and confusion; "his inconsistency resulted in the demoralization of his staff"
bluster - noisy confusion and turbulence; "he was awakened by the bluster of their preparations"
bedlam, chaos, pandemonium, topsy-turvydom, topsy-turvyness - a state of extreme confusion and disorder
hugger-mugger - a state of confusion; "he engaged in the hugger-mugger of international finance"
schemozzle, shemozzle - (Yiddish) a confused situation or affair; a mess
2.confusion - a mental state characterized by a lack of clear and orderly thought and behaviorconfusion - a mental state characterized by a lack of clear and orderly thought and behavior; "a confusion of impressions"
cognitive state, state of mind - the state of a person's cognitive processes
disorientation - confusion (usually transient) about where you are and how to proceed; uncertainty as to direction; "his disorientation was the result of inattention"
distraction - mental turmoil; "he drives me to distraction"
daze, haze, fog - confusion characterized by lack of clarity
half-cock - confusion resulting from lack of preparation
jamais vu - the experience of being unfamiliar with a person or situation that is actually very familiar; associated with certain types of epilepsy
bafflement, befuddlement, bemusement, bewilderment, mystification, obfuscation, puzzlement - confusion resulting from failure to understand
perplexity - trouble or confusion resulting from complexity
3.confusion - a feeling of embarrassment that leaves you confused
embarrassment - the shame you feel when your inadequacy or guilt is made public
4.confusion - an act causing a disorderly combination of elements with identities lost and distinctions blended; "the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel"
compounding, combining, combination - the act of combining things to form a new whole
babel - a confusion of voices and other sounds
5.confusion - a mistake that results from taking one thing to be anotherconfusion - a mistake that results from taking one thing to be another; "he changed his name in order to avoid confusion with the notorious outlaw"
error, fault, mistake - a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention; "he made a bad mistake"; "she was quick to point out my errors"; "I could understand his English in spite of his grammatical faults"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. bewilderment, doubt, uncertainty, puzzlement, perplexity, mystification, bafflement, perturbation Omissions in my recent article may have caused some confusion.
bewilderment solution, explanation, enlightenment, clarification
2. disorder, chaos, turmoil, upheaval, muddle, bustle, shambles, disarray, commotion, disorganization, disarrangement The rebel leader seems to have escaped in the confusion.
disorder order, organization, arrangement, neatness, tidiness
3. bewilderment, puzzlement, perplexity, bafflement, mystification, perturbation I left his office in a state of confusion.
"Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood" [Henry Miller Tropic of Capricorn]
"with ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,"
"Confusion worse confounded" [John Milton Paradise Lost]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
إضْطِراب، بَلْبَلَهاِرْتِباك
sự nhầm lẫn


[kənˈfjuːʒən] N
1. (= disorder) → desorden m
to be in confusionestar en desorden
to retire in confusionretirarse en desorden
2. (= perplexity) → confusión f, desorientación f
people were in a state of confusionla gente estaba desorientada
3. (= commotion) → confusión f
in all the confusion I forgot itlo olvidé en medio de tanta confusión
I heard a confusion of voicesoí unas voces confusas
4. (= embarrassment) to be covered in confusionestar avergonzado
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[kənˈfjuːʒən] n
(= uncertainty) → confusion f
(= chaos) → confusion f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= disorder)Durcheinander nt, → Wirrwarr m, → Unordnung f; (= jumble)Wirrwarr m; to be in confusionin Unordnung sein, durcheinander sein; scenes of confusionallgemeines or wildes Durcheinander; to retreat in confusion (Mil) → einen ungeordneten Rückzug antreten; to throw everything into confusionalles durcheinanderbringen; in the confusion of the battleim Durcheinander der Schlacht; to run about in confusionwild durcheinanderlaufen
(= perplexity)Verwirrung f, → Unklarheit f; (= mental confusion, after drugs, blow on head etc) → Verwirrtheit f; (through old age etc) → Wirrheit f; in the confusion of the momentim Eifer des Gefechts
(= embarrassment)Verlegenheit f; (at being found out) → Betroffenheit f; to be covered in confusionvor Verlegenheit erröten
(= mixing up)Verwechslung f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[kənˈfjuːʒn] nconfusione f
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(kənˈfjuːz) verb
1. to put in disorder. He confused the arrangements by arriving late.
2. to mix up in one's mind. I always confuse John and his twin brother.
3. to make puzzled. He completely confused me by his questions.
conˈfused adjective
1. mixed up. The message I received was rather confused.
2. mixed up in the mind. in a confused state of mind.
conˈfusedly (-zidli) adverb
conˈfusion (-ʒən) noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


اِرْتِباك zmatek forvirring Verwechslung σύγχυση confusión sekaannus confusion zbrka confusione 混同 혼란 verwarring forvirring dezorientacja confusão сомнение förvirring ความสับสน karışıklık sự nhầm lẫn 混淆
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. confusión; atolondramiento; aturdimiento.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n confusión f
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Delirium is a clinical state of acute confusion due to rapid changes in brain function that occurs with underlying medical conditions.
"Delirium, complex and often multi-factorial, is a clinical state of acute confusion due to rapid changes in brain function that occur with underlying medical conditions," said Dr Hanadi al-Hamad, senior consultant and chairperson of Geriatrics and Long Term Care, HMC.
Al-Awwad is specifically interested in diagnosing and treating patients with status migraine (debilitating migraine attacks lasting for more than 72 hours), non-epileptic seizures, toxic metabolic encephalopathy (a condition of delirium and acute confusion) and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
Computerised tomography (CT) brain scan was performed on admission to investigate the cause of acute confusion and revealed a left basal ganglia lesion with mass effect.
[11] On the basis of this criteria, diagnosis of a presumed WE among alcoholics requires patients having a history or signs of chronic alcohol misuse and any of the following symptoms: Acute confusion (not due to intoxication), delirium tremens, memory disturbances, decreased conscious level, ophthalmoplegia or nystagmus, ataxia (not due to intoxication), or unexplained hypothermia with hypertension should be presumed to have WE.
Agitated behaviors are exhibited during the discrete stage of TBI recovery that is associated with acute confusion, posttraumatic amnesia, and lack of consistent orientation (Corrigan, Mysiw, Gribble, & Chock, 1992).
Then, one morning while sleeping she developed myoclonic jerks and screamed out of her bed with acute confusion, psychomotor agitation, and irrelevant talk which lasted for three days and was then brought to psychiatry OPD.
Regarding the mental health effects of solitary confinement, Addameer stressed that research demonstrates that the use of long-term isolation and solitary confinement can lead to severe mental damages ranging from sleep disturbances, through depression and anxiety, to psychotic reactions, such as visual and auditory hallucinations, paranoid states, disorientation with regards to time and space, states of acute confusion, and thought disorders, said Addameer.
Those Halligan comes across can include someone threatening to self-harm or someone who has already done so by various means; somebody voicing suicidal intent or somebody who has made a recent serious attempt, such as overdosing; a teenager with a slow emerging psychosis, or a 90-year-old suffering from acute confusion. He can be called to see an agitated and paranoid youth in a florid drug-induced state, or a middle-aged depressed woman who is socially withdrawing and refusing to eat.
The patient who was suffering with 'acute confusion' had been shouting abusive language and was behaving aggressively towards staff during the incident in October 2012.
People with pre-existing cognitive impairment frequently experience acute confusion and associated decline in cognitive function (delirium) related to the medical problem that necessitated admission to hospital (Siddiqi et al 2007; Fick et al 2002; Inouye, Wagner et al 1993).

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