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confound (verb) confuse and surprise; defeat.

The behavior of a person confounds you if they behave in an unexpected manner, if their behavior is different from their normal behavior. An unexpected change in a situation confounds you if you do not understand and are confused about the reason for the change. A problem confounds you if you cannot understand it, let alone solve it. If prices rise instead of an expected fall, it confounds economists. If a person survives a fatal illness, against the opinion of the doctors, their survival confounds the doctors. To confound is also to defeat. The enemy army was defeated by being given a surprise attack. This means, a surprise attack confused the enemy army totally, and defeated it.

  • The sudden recovery of the stock markets, while encouraging the investors, has confounded the stock brokers who had been expecting a steady fall in stock prices.
  • The surrender, within a day of the murder, of two men, each claiming that he had committed the murder, confounded the police.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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