Definition of discomfit in US English:

discomfit

verb

[with object]
  • Make (someone) feel uneasy or embarrassed.

    ‘he was not noticeably discomfited by her tone’
    • ‘It's a nifty device too, because it reminds you of the show's discomfiting ambiguity.’
    • ‘Recently, I've found myself more than a little discomfited by examples of intolerance that seem to be cropping up around me.’
    • ‘Scenes will discomfit you, partly because the dialogue is not quite up to the mark in his quest for black humour.’
    • ‘Her green eyes danced with laughter as she discomfited her brother.’
    • ‘The overused phrase ‘politically correct’ is usually code for something newish that discomfits the writer.’
    • ‘It has proven itself right time after time. It has discomfited its critics and it has repeatedly astonished even its pessimistically inclined well-wishers, such as myself.’
    • ‘Tight-lipped, he appeared discomfited by the questions thrown at him, and relied on streams of impenetrable government-speak for his responses.’
    • ‘She succeeded in discomfiting him even further.’
    • ‘Actions like these would threaten businesses and discomfit drivers.’
    • ‘The poor boy was clearly discomfited, but we can never resist a mystery, so he gulped out an answer.’
    • ‘But they are discomfited by the normalcy of it all.’
    • ‘If a politician cannot speak discomfiting truths without being thrown out of office, then we can expect to have more politicians who will tell us comforting lies.’
    • ‘Her gaze was suddenly penetrating, and it almost discomfited him.’
    • ‘Beatrice's apology was more gracious, and she was visibly discomfited by her father's manner.’
    • ‘His odd, slightly discomfiting palette-a range of hues informed by but not faithful to the colors of the natural world-contributes to a sense of disequilibrium.’
    • ‘It was like a whole different world here; I was suddenly discomfited by my family's humble home.’
    • ‘More often, he uses his talents to discomfit people who deserve it, deflating the pretentious and humbling the arrogant.’
    • ‘For his part, he was coolness and dignity personified and rejected the chance to discomfit his opponent still further by insulting him.’
    • ‘My students were not at all puzzled by this, although they were discomfited that their parents were paying six figures for such an education.’
    • ‘Well, he's just made it clear that you've succeeded in discomfiting him and his crew.’
    embarrass, make uncomfortable, make uneasy, abash, disconcert, nonplus, discompose, discomfort, take aback, unsettle, unnerve, put someone off their stroke, ruffle, confuse, fluster, agitate, disorientate, upset, disturb, perturb, distress
    View synonyms

Usage

The words discomfit and discomfort are etymologically unrelated. Further, discomfit is a verb and discomfort is primarily a noun. But in modern use, their principal meanings as a verb have collapsed into one: ‘make (someone) feel uneasy.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘defeat in battle’): from Old French desconfit, past participle of desconfire, based on Latin dis- (expressing reversal) + conficere ‘put together’ (see confection).

Pronunciation

discomfit

/disˈkəmfət//dɪsˈkəmfət/