perplex


Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

per·plex

 (pər-plĕks′)
tr.v. per·plexed, per·plex·ing, per·plex·es
1. To confuse or trouble with uncertainty or doubt.
2. To make confusedly intricate; complicate: poorly informed opinions that only perplex the subject.

[Back-formation from Middle English perplexed, puzzled; see perplexed.]

per·plex′ing·ly adv.
Synonyms: perplex, mystify, bewilder, confound, puzzle
These verbs mean to cause bafflement or confusion. Perplex stresses uncertainty or anxiety, as over reaching an understanding or finding a solution: "No subject at the Philadelphia convention had perplexed the delegates more than the mode of choosing the president" (Susan Dunn).
Mystify implies something inexplicable by conventional understanding: "Galileo was mystified by the disappearance of the two smaller bodies accompanying Saturn along its orbit" (Eric Burgess).
Bewilder emphasizes extreme mental confusion: " We human beings are ... bewildered when trying to imagine a world with more than three dimensions" (Paul Davies).
To confound is to confuse and astonish: God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (I Corinthians 1:27).
Puzzle suggests difficulty in solving or interpreting something: "The poor creature puzzled me once ... by a question merely natural and innocent" (Daniel Defoe).

perplex

(pəˈplɛks)
vb (tr)
1. to puzzle; bewilder; confuse
2. to complicate: to perplex an issue.
[C15: from obsolete perplex (adj) intricate, from Latin perplexus entangled, from per- (thoroughly) + plectere to entwine]

per•plex

(pərˈplɛks)

v.t.
1. to cause to be puzzled or bewildered over what is not understood or certain.
2. to make complicated; confuse.
3. to hamper with complications, confusion, or uncertainty.
[1585–95; back formation from perplexed]
per•plex′er, n.

perplex


Past participle: perplexed
Gerund: perplexing

Imperative
perplex
perplex
Present
I perplex
you perplex
he/she/it perplexes
we perplex
you perplex
they perplex
Preterite
I perplexed
you perplexed
he/she/it perplexed
we perplexed
you perplexed
they perplexed
Present Continuous
I am perplexing
you are perplexing
he/she/it is perplexing
we are perplexing
you are perplexing
they are perplexing
Present Perfect
I have perplexed
you have perplexed
he/she/it has perplexed
we have perplexed
you have perplexed
they have perplexed
Past Continuous
I was perplexing
you were perplexing
he/she/it was perplexing
we were perplexing
you were perplexing
they were perplexing
Past Perfect
I had perplexed
you had perplexed
he/she/it had perplexed
we had perplexed
you had perplexed
they had perplexed
Future
I will perplex
you will perplex
he/she/it will perplex
we will perplex
you will perplex
they will perplex
Future Perfect
I will have perplexed
you will have perplexed
he/she/it will have perplexed
we will have perplexed
you will have perplexed
they will have perplexed
Future Continuous
I will be perplexing
you will be perplexing
he/she/it will be perplexing
we will be perplexing
you will be perplexing
they will be perplexing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been perplexing
you have been perplexing
he/she/it has been perplexing
we have been perplexing
you have been perplexing
they have been perplexing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been perplexing
you will have been perplexing
he/she/it will have been perplexing
we will have been perplexing
you will have been perplexing
they will have been perplexing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been perplexing
you had been perplexing
he/she/it had been perplexing
we had been perplexing
you had been perplexing
they had been perplexing
Conditional
I would perplex
you would perplex
he/she/it would perplex
we would perplex
you would perplex
they would perplex
Past Conditional
I would have perplexed
you would have perplexed
he/she/it would have perplexed
we would have perplexed
you would have perplexed
they would have perplexed
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.perplex - be a mystery or bewildering toperplex - be a mystery or bewildering to; "This beats me!"; "Got me--I don't know the answer!"; "a vexing problem"; "This question really stuck me"
stump, mix up - cause to be perplexed or confounded; "This problem stumped her"
befuddle, confound, confuse, discombobulate, fox, bedevil, fuddle, throw - be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly; "These questions confuse even the experts"; "This question completely threw me"; "This question befuddled even the teacher"
riddle - set a difficult problem or riddle; "riddle me a riddle"
elude, escape - be incomprehensible to; escape understanding by; "What you are seeing in him eludes me"
2.perplex - make more complicated; "There was a new development that complicated the matter"
alter, change, modify - cause to change; make different; cause a transformation; "The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city"; "The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue"
complexify - make complex; "he unnecessarily complexified every problem"
embrangle, snarl up, snarl - make more complicated or confused through entanglements

perplex

verb puzzle, confuse, stump, baffle, bewilder, muddle, confound, beset, mystify, faze, befuddle, flummox, bemuse, dumbfound, nonplus, mix you up problems that perplexed me

perplex

verb
1. To cause to be unclear in mind or intent:
Informal: throw.
Idiom: make one's head reel.
2. To make complex, intricate, or perplexing:
Translations
يُحَيِّر، يُرْبِك
zmást
forvirregøre perpleks
rugla, gera ráîvilltan
aptulbęs
apmulsināt

perplex

[pəˈpleks] VT (= puzzle) → dejar perplejo; (= confuse) → desconcertar, confundir; [+ situation, issue] → complicar

perplex

[pərˈplɛks] vt [+ person] → rendre perplexe, plonger dans la perplexité
to be perplexed by sth → être perplexe devant qch
Bankers are perplexed by the sudden rise in inflation → Les banquiers sont perplexes devant l'augmentation soudaine de l'inflation., L'augmentation soudaine de l'inflation plonge les banquiers dans la perplexité.

perplex

perplex

[pəˈplɛks] vtlasciare perplesso/a
I was perplexed by his behaviour → il suo comportamento mi ha lasciato perplesso

perplex

(pəˈpleks) verb
to puzzle or confuse (someone); to make (someone) unable to understand. She was perplexed by his questions.
perˈplexed adjective
perˈplexedly (-ˈpleksid-) adverb
perˈplexity noun
She stood there in perplexity.
References in classic literature ?
Were I to attempt further details I should only perplex. Yet for the sake of the young and inexperienced, who may perchance infer -- from the two simple instances I have given above, of the manner in which I should recognize my Father and my Sons -- that Recognition by sight is an easy affair, it may be needful to point out that in actual life most of the problems of Sight Recognition are far more subtle and complex.
For fear the desolation And darkness of thy mind, Perplex an habitation Which thou hast left behind.
Wakefield, almost resolved to perplex his good lady by a whole week's absence.
He took out his black pipe and was going to fill it with negrohead, when, looking at the tangle of tobacco in his hand, he seemed to think it might perplex the thread of his narrative.
Having swept the hearth and wiped the table, I departed; more perplexed than ever.
But the principal failing occurred in the sailing, And the Bellman, perplexed and distressed, Said he had hoped, at least, when the wind blew due East, That the ship would not travel due West!
Yet, elevated as Madame Stahl's character was, touching as was her story, and exalted and moving as was her speech, Kitty could not help detecting in her some traits which perplexed her.
He seemed so perplexed that I thought perhaps he hadn't enough money, after all.
Jasper turned that perplexed face towards the fire.
The Bull rising up, and not knowing what to do, was sadly perplexed. At which the Mouse said, "The great do not always prevail.
Camacho was listening to all this, perplexed and bewildered and not knowing what to say or do; but so urgent were the entreaties of Basilio's friends, imploring him to allow Quiteria to give him her hand, so that his soul, quitting this life in despair, should not be lost, that they moved, nay, forced him, to say that if Quiteria were willing to give it he was satisfied, as it was only putting off the fulfillment of his wishes for a moment.
He is gay and thoughtless, takes little heed of landmarks, depends upon his leaders and companions to think for the common weal, and, if left to himself, is easily perplexed and lost.