Definition of fluster in US English:



[with object]often as adjective flustered
  • Make (someone) agitated or confused.

    ‘you need to be able to work under pressure and not get flustered’
    • ‘There had been one flustered man who asked where the john was, but that was all.’
    • ‘It looked as if she had found a very flustered Adam and had proceeded to drape herself all over him.’
    • ‘If I diverted to my notes on the table beside me, he would know he had flustered me.’
    • ‘Why was this man - her boss - so intent on flustering her?’
    • ‘He is flustered and tells her she can take everything but the rented jewels she is wearing.’
    • ‘He was flustered for a moment and resumed his stare at what appeared to be the clouds.’
    • ‘I got flustered by his comment and closed my phone before he could say another word.’
    • ‘Thankfully, Frank Dent leapt to his rescue and restrained the wild, flustered woman.’
    • ‘The prince was rather flustered, his mind swirling as he tried to decide who would be his bride.’
    • ‘The camera zoomed in on my flushed face near the end of my stint, just as I was flustered over the pronunciation of Alloa.’
    • ‘The old book merely sat and waited for the clearly flustered young woman to gather her wits.’
    • ‘Defenses often choose to blitz Roethlisberger in hopes of flustering him, but that tactic isn't always effective.’
    • ‘I was so flustered that all I did was nod and he pushed me into the woods and we made out like crazy.’
    • ‘When I go into my bank nowadays, I am flustered by the range of activities and services being discreetly pushed at me.’
    • ‘When the robot stood in the bower, the male exercised a cautious, rather subdued display - wooing carefully to avoid flustering the prospective mate.’
    • ‘I was flustered - having just come off an airplane - and I went to the powder room.’
    • ‘Kate looked slightly flustered by the direct question, and Sam took pity on her and helped her out.’
    • ‘These flustered women actually turned a calm and sorted situation into a tense one.’
    • ‘He practically threw the pouch back into the safe and Kate was sorry she'd flustered him.’
    • ‘I fell out of the car and told him he'd have to back it into the back stage space as I was too flustered.’
    unsettle, make nervous, unnerve, agitate, ruffle, upset, bother, put on edge, discompose, disquiet, disturb, worry, alarm, panic, perturb, disconcert, confuse, throw off balance, confound, nonplus
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  • An agitated or confused state.

    ‘the main thing is not to get all in a fluster’
    • ‘So, as iconic as Marilyn Monroe and Madonna may be, York men are more likely to get themselves into a fluster over Angelina Jolie and Catherine Zeta Jones.’
    • ‘Her fluster taken out of her by his kind words, Ral was only able to stare up at him, her crystal blue eyes searching for any malice that he might have.’
    • ‘The reason behind Julia's fluster was the numerous killer smiles, accidental caresses she got from Jeff.’
    • ‘After a minute, faking fluster and fanning down her ardour, the lady managed a ‘Monsieur!’’
    • ‘Betty went behind the bar with a fluster of agitation.’
    • ‘In Internet parlance, the baby-faced de Jong is a newby, and he's not hiding the fact with his overly earnest fluster following his unceremonious deflowering.’
    • ‘The new year came and went without the usual fluster and bustle of activity.’
    • ‘The red-hot favourite got in a real fluster on his way down to the start and Philip Robinson had to wrestle the reins to keep him under control.’
    • ‘Rose would scold her about ruining her frock, Bethamy would be in a fluster about how unsafe it was and Elizabeth would want her to come down before they had a fight about it.’
    • ‘Perhaps it was the occasion that got to them, but their option-taking, their shooting, their general fluster in the opening half, cost them many a score, at both ends of the field.’
    • ‘Brandon walked by, in a fluster, and dropped a note onto Joshua's tray.’
    • ‘The hurry and scurry of airports, the deceits and disputes of hotels, the fluster of trains and taxis - he was beyond it all.’
    • ‘Casey snapped out of her little daydream and answered in a fluster.’
    • ‘Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.’
    • ‘My friend Mouse had got so many tickets they cost (wait for it) £750 and he had rung me in something of a last minute fluster with one going spare.’
    • ‘I guess I must have fallen asleep because the last thing I remember was lying down on my bed staring up at the ceiling in an angry fluster.’
    • ‘His playing of Sarah the Cook - ruddy of cheek, in need of a fashion makeover from Trinny and Susannah - is full of pathos, mock shock and motherly fluster and concern.’
    • ‘A tinge of red prevailed his cheeks, a sign of his fluster.’
    • ‘Peters waited and then, in a fluster, excused himself from his superiors and left.’
    • ‘In a fluster she ran into the bathroom and tried to flush the dirty magazine down the toilet, but it only caused it to clog and overflow water all over the just washed bathroom floor.’
    state of agitation, state of anxiety, nervous state, flutter, panic, frenzy, fever, fret, upset, turmoil, commotion
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Early 17th century (in the sense ‘make slightly drunk’): perhaps of Scandinavian origin and related to Icelandic flaustra ‘hurry, bustle’.