discomfit

discomfit, discomfort
Discomfit in current English means ‘to thwart the plans of’ (its original meaning) or ‘to embarrass or disconcert’. In its weaker second meaning, in which it occurs most often in the form discomfited, it overlaps with the unrelated word discomfort, which means ‘to make uneasy’, and in the normal flow of speech it is not always possible —for speaker or hearer —to distinguish them. Examples: (discomfit)

• I should have corrected her, but, discomfited, missed the right moment —Alison Lurie, 1969

• Widger was not wholly without Schadenfreude at seeing his informative colleague discomfited for once —Edmund Crispin, 1977

• He turned away from her, discomfited at her glance —L. Appignanesi, 1992

• (discomfort) His Section's Mediterranean operations, where his cheerful courage discomforted the Germans and Italians, are dealt with in later chapters —J. Ladd, 1979

• The show, entitled ‘Banality’, was eerie, discomforting, and seemed to offend nearly everyone —The Face, 1990.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Discomfit — Dis*com fit, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Discomfited}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Discomfiting}.] [OF. desconfit, p. p. of desconfire, F. d[ e]confire; fr. L. dis + conficere to make ready, prepare, bring about. See {Comfit}, {Fact}.] 1. To scatter in fight; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Discomfit — Dis*com fit, n. Rout; overthrow; discomfiture. [1913 Webster] Such a discomfit as shall quite despoil him. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Discomfit — Dis*com fit, a. Discomfited; overthrown. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • discomfit — index beat (defeat), discompose, disconcert, disturb, embarrass, overcome (overwhelm), overwhelm …   Law dictionary

  • discomfit — c.1200, from O.Fr. desconfit vanquished, defeated, pp. of desconfire to defeat, destroy, from des not (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + confire make, prepare, accomplish, from L. conficere (see CONFECTION (Cf. confection)). Originally an adjective in… …   Etymology dictionary

  • discomfit — disconcert, *embarrass, faze, abash, rattle Analogous words: *annoy, vex, irk, bother: perturb, *discompose, agitate, upset, disturb: check, *arrest, interrupt …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • discomfit — [v] defeat, frustrate; confuse abash, annoy, baffle, balk, beat, bother, checkmate, confound, demoralize, discompose, disconcert, discountenance, disturb, embarrass, faze, fluster, foil, irk, outwit, overcome, perplex, perturb, prevent, rattle,… …   New thesaurus

  • discomfit — ► VERB (discomfited, discomfiting) ▪ make uneasy or embarrassed. DERIVATIVES discomfiture noun. ORIGIN originally in the sense «defeat in battle»: from Old French desconfire, from Latin conficere put together …   English terms dictionary

  • discomfit — [dis kum′fit] vt. [ME discomfiten < OFr desconfit, pp. of desconfire < VL * disconficere < L dis + conficere: see CONFECT] 1. Archaic to defeat; overthrow 2. to frustrate the plans or expectations of 3. to make uneasy; disconcert SYN.… …   English World dictionary

  • discomfit — UK [dɪsˈkʌmfɪt] / US verb [transitive] Word forms discomfit : present tense I/you/we/they discomfit he/she/it discomfits present participle discomfiting past tense discomfited past participle discomfited literary to make someone feel embarrassed …   English dictionary

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