Imagine studying for an English exam the entire week, but when you are about to sit for the paper, you discover that your examiner has scheduled a different paper that you have to take. How can you describe that feeling of confusion and bewilderment you're having at that moment to the extent of lacking words. Well, "perplexed" is the word, and we will let you know the most common perplexed definition and how to use this word in different instances.
The word perplexed is defined as the state of being shocked, confused, or puzzled over recent events. The word also means full of challenges, difficulty, or bemused in different sentences. Synonyms that are acceptable replacements are mixed-up, stupefied, boggled and baffled.
The word perplexed has several other meanings that some people may not know. If you're among the English enthusiasts who have wanted to use this word but didn't know how to do it correctly, and you're reading the right article, keep it here. Besides the perplexed definitions and meanings, we will also cover the word's history, pronunciation, spelling, various forms and its applications in sentences.
What Is the Definition of Perplexed?
Perplexed means "to confuse a puzzle or riddle with uncertainty or doubt." You get confused such that it makes it hard to know what might come up, especially if it's something you never expected. Your level of doubt is a result of confusion.
When someone is perplexed, they are thrown into doubt over something they were initially confident about. For instance, if you answer a question and then it's challenged by someone else, the situation leaves others puzzled over which answer is correct.
Here are some example sentences.
- The scientists were perplexed at the new readings, throwing the whole research in limbo.
- Voters were left perplexed after the new results contradicting the earlier report were released.
Does Perplexed Mean Confusion?
Another definition of the word perplex is to throw someone into confusion. The word perplexed is also defined as making something complicated. This is among the most recognized definitions of this word.
The word is best used when someone or people attempt to find a solution to a problem without any success. For instance, if you give the rest of your classmates a challenging math problem to solve, you have perplexed your classmates. It is even more perplexing when it's a challenge beyond what the class has been learning about.
Here are some examples to explain further:
- The problem had perplexed the mathematicians after hours of solving it.
- The constant sinking of the building has perplexed the construction workers at the site.
What Is the Meaning of Perplexed?
You can also define the word perplexed as making something tricky, complicated, or difficult to solve or understand. It can be in a formal or informal situation. Conferences, seminars, and meetings always have perplexing situations.
Simply put, this word is best used to describe a situation where a person makes it hard to find a solution to something. With this word, you describe a person who makes it difficult to understand them. For instance, if someone is experiencing a problem but does not want to tell you about it, they perplex the situation.
Here are some sentences to explain this further.
- The government has tried to solve the issue, but the matter is perplexed by cartels.
- It's difficult to talk to her son about anything because he is perplexed by the entire situation.
How to Use Perplexed in a Sentence
The word perplexed is the past tense of the word perplex. You can use it as an adjective, noun, or adverb. Based on the context of your speech or text, you can choose any form of the word. A slight confusion will render your context meaningless with a lot of confusion.
Let's now look at how to use this word in sentences. In each category, you'll have some example sentences to make it easy to understand this word usage. These examples are a good inspiration if you look forward to using the word in your writing. Here we go!
Perplexed Use as an Adjective, Noun, and Adverb
The word as an adjective describes the noun next to it. Another adjective from the word perplexed is perplexing. Here are some example sentences of this word.
- Instead of solving the issue, the team was met with complications and bureaucracies that they found perplexing.
- We find these results perplexing because they do not reflect the ones we collected from our tests.
The word perplexed, when used as a noun, becomes perplexity. This word describes the state or quality of being perplexed. Other words that are nouns of the word perplexed are perplexedness, perplexion, and perplexment. Learn more from the following sentences.
- The perplexity of the situation made his teammates alienate Ben Simmons.
- Due to the perplexedness of the trials, the scientists had no choice but to halt the research.
When perplexed is used as an adverb, it becomes perplexingly. When used in this form, the word describes how an action was done. "Perplexedly" is another word used as an adverb. Read some examples below.
- Their marriage has seen its fair share of ups and downs, yet, they have remained perplexingly together.
- But perplexingly, most mammals all seem to possess this growth character trait.
10 Examples of Perplexed Usage in a Sentence
We have discussed "perplexed" different meanings and various uses. The best way to learn to use the word correctly is by reading more sentences. You'll learn how the word perplexed is used in different scenarios by practicing using these sentences. Read on!
- She is an expert in all things animals, but the mere sight of the colorful snake on her way through the jungle perplexed her.
- After the presenter disproved the ongoing Russia Ukraine war, she stood up and left the perplexed crew members on the set.
- I believe that the police officer was perplexed by all the information and made the wrong decision.
- "What in the world!" she cried, perplexed and amused by the number of people waiting to wish her a happy birthday.
- It's perplexing to see a well-disciplined young man with a great job let himself go to the point of depression.
- I stood still, perplexed by the news that Kobe Bryant's helicopter had crashed in California because I had seen them practice the game the day before.
- The reason why the magician has perplexed people is that she made a life-sized manikin come to life.
- The young girl left the room where her parents were arguing with a perplexed look on her face.
- The German soldiers were perplexed when they found out that the captain and his family had run away.
- I always find her actions perplexing because she never wants to interact with us or ask for our help.
How Do You Spell Perplexed?
The term perplexed is spelled p.e.r.p.l.e.x.e.d. It's also spelled as \ pər-ˈplekst \ according to the modern IPA.
If you're experiencing some challenges spelling this word, spell the word perplex first, then add "ed." You'll realize how easy it is to get through the spelling.
How Do You Pronounce Perplexed?
Puh·plekst is the correct pronunciation of the word perplexed.
When pronouncing this word, always remember that the syllables are stressed differently. If you are still confused about pronouncing the word perplexed, watch a video of an expert saying the word, and then do some practice.
How Many Syllables Are In Perplexed?
The word perplexed has two syllables; per.plexed.
Count the number of times you drop your jaw when reading this word, and you'll easily count the syllables in any word.
History & Etymology of Perplexed
The history of the word perplexed dates back to the 16th century, from its parent word perplexus, meaning "to embarrass, bewilder or puzzle."
The word perplexed comes from two Latin words, per and plexus. The former meant through or hence whereas the latter meant entangled, fold or braid. It's important to note that some of the meanings these parent words have are no longer in use today.
When Was Perplexed First Used?
The first record of the word perplexed in the English language was in the 15th century.
The word began as its Latin counterpart as early as the 14th century. However, people adopted it in its English form in the late 15th century to define bewilderment or confusion. The word is the past tense of the word perplex and later resulted in words such as perplexingly or perplexing that are now common in the English Language.
Words are commonly used to describe people's feelings or thoughts. However, words cannot be helpful if you don't know how to use them correctly. This won't be an issue with "perplexed" now that you know how to use the word correctly.
But here's the thing: knowing how to use this word is not enough. More practice is needed to grow your confidence when using the word in speech and writing. If you have any challenges with the word, please refer to this article for reference.
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Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.