Also found in: Thesaurus.
Related to perplexingly: overwhelmingly, misattributed


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).
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.


in a perplexing manner
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


advverwirrend; a perplexingly difficult problemein schwieriges und verwirrendes Problem
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
It was a long time before he could steady his nerves to answer my questions, and then he answered perplexingly and brokenly.
This was all that I could observe of her in the dim light and under the perplexingly strange circumstances of our meeting.
The Count Valentin looked at our hero from head to foot with his peculiar smile, in which impudence and urbanity seemed perplexingly commingled.
Some heroes who had big dramatic moments in 'Infinity War' perplexingly lack equivalent-or, at least, more time here, when most of the other heroes figure in inveigling callback scenarios.
Hussein Monzer, Lebanon's only bright spot in an otherwise turgid opening performance, was perplexingly dropped by Curcic while Nejmeh's exciting talent Ali al-Hajj was also made to kick his heels on the bench.
Despite the Asian Games forcing countries to play three group-stage games in the space of five days, perplexingly Al-Shehri did not make a single change until the 77th minute, when he introduced Al-Banaqi, who would finally add the flourish.
Yet, perplexingly, she supported the general adoption bill with the discriminatory language.
This, perplexingly, was considered a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's due-process clause, which allegedly forbade such regulations by guaranteeing workers the freedom of contract.
9164, removed the 50% threshold." It "did not impose a new threshold." Likewise, the later Revisor's Guide "did not impose a new threshold." Perplexingly, PET concluded that, since Comelec "did not provide any other threshold," the 50% threshold in the old PET rules should be followed, that the phrase "within the threshold" in the 2018 Revisor's guide should refer to the 2010 PET rules requiring the 50% benchmark.
Hidden beneath a perplexingly nondescript book jacket is one of the best novels of 2017, Millard Salter's Last Day by Jacob M.
Even more perplexingly, Spencer goes on to say that "questions about tact and taste" present "moral challenges not just for the writer but for the reader as well," then cites Janet Malcolm's famous line about the moral indefensibility of journalists--as if Plante's book has anything to do with journalism!
As to the second criticism, I agree that the Journal's "mindfulness" issue, after expounding at length the benefits of meditation, perplexingly left the reader wondering how one actually engages in that practice.