Definition of flummox in English:



[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Perplex (someone) greatly; bewilder.

    ‘he was completely flummoxed by the question’
    • ‘Venus Williams is becoming an old hand at press conferences, but even she was flummoxed by one question that came her way after losing out to sister Serena in the final.’
    • ‘When they weren't directing their energies against their seaside rivals, the Richmond students sometimes flummoxed their own teachers.’
    • ‘I was flummoxed by this quiz question recently: When was the England batting opened in a Test by a rugby and a soccer international?’
    • ‘After reading his post, I'm equally flummoxed - but I fear this will not be the last of blog regulation.’
    • ‘But the latest poster campaign to hit the streets of Witham has flummoxed residents.’
    • ‘‘It would be too long if we included everything,’ he explained to his somewhat flummoxed customers.’
    • ‘Even the Ministry of Information official who accompanied me was flummoxed.’
    • ‘When he arrived at the crash site, a mile away, he was flummoxed.’
    • ‘We had the usual conversation about life here, and he was just flummoxed by the place.’
    • ‘Civic officials are flummoxed as there is a ban on killing stray dogs.’
    • ‘He was flummoxed at such a response to the announcement of a quiz, so he repeated, ‘Today I am taking a quiz’.’
    • ‘But try to get this Glasgow lassie to explain her design philosophy and she's flummoxed.’
    • ‘The ultimate junk closet was flummoxing my Mother.’
    • ‘Still others see bureaucracies that flummox mere students.’
    • ‘But at the Jinnah in Micklegate this week I was flummoxed.’
    • ‘Integral calculus, in the first term of 1987, flummoxed me and I squeaked by with 52%.’
    • ‘Mr Rawson said he was completely flummoxed by the decision taken by the bank.’
    • ‘Her friend was flummoxed so she included a question about men shaving in her next column.’
    • ‘When he picked up his first job application, he was flummoxed.’
    • ‘The response could have been a little quicker, but not even the oddest requests could flummox the staff.’
    baffle, bewilder, mystify, bemuse, perplex, puzzle, confuse, confound, nonplus, disconcert, throw, throw off balance, disorientate, take aback, set thinking
    bamboozle, discombobulate, faze, stump, beat, fox, make someone scratch their head, be all greek to, make someone's head spin, floor, fog
    baffled, bewildered, mystified, bemused, perplexed, puzzled, confused, confounded, nonplussed, disconcerted, thrown, thrown off balance, at sea, at a loss, disorientated, taken aback
    bamboozled, discombobulated, fazed, stumped, beat, foxed, floored
    wildered, distracted, mazed
    wilder, gravel, maze, cause to be at a stand, distract, pose
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: probably of dialect origin; compare with dialect flummock to make untidy, confuse.