Definition of perplexity in English:

perplexity

noun

  • 1Inability to deal with or understand something complicated or unaccountable.

    ‘she paused in perplexity’
    • ‘The ban has been met with a combination of anger and perplexity.’
    • ‘But my perplexity went well beyond the lack of easy egalitarianism.’
    • ‘Confessions of perplexity are, it is assumed, not wanted.’
    • ‘In my perplexity, I rang the council for clarification.’
    • ‘The sensory overload of such prose inspires perplexity and gives little assurance on rereading.’
    • ‘You can see perplexity and anger in their stance, their walk, their whole demeanor.’
    • ‘I pointed that out to her and watched her face change from its look of indignant perplexity to a very sad and hurt confusion.’
    • ‘The perplexity of the public has grown in recent weeks.’
    • ‘The defining images of the tournament so far have been ones of American disappointment, frustration and sheer perplexity at the force of their rivals.’
    • ‘The ambivalence from the clash of voices results in mental and emotional states of perplexity.’
    • ‘In the meantime, a strange mood of perplexity and foreboding has settled on Europe.’
    • ‘We may come in love and sympathy, perhaps with perplexity or even anger, but we come to share and for a time of quiet reflection.’
    • ‘The true perplexity of it came clear several days later, when we were driving back from a two-day sidetrip to Waterton National Park.’
    • ‘Confusion and perplexity characterise the political establishment everywhere.’
    • ‘‘No I didn't,’ Duke replied with a look of perplexity.’
    • ‘All they are trying to do is bring perplexity and division among the residents.’
    • ‘They gazed at her work with puzzled perplexity.’
    • ‘‘I guess I'd say we're a metal band,’ he says with some perplexity.’
    • ‘For all their cheerful harmony, his pictures were painted in solitude, with perplexity and misgiving until he saw them in their completed form.’
    • ‘Gradually the look of perplexity was replaced by the slightest of smirks as the boys' minds took in what was happening.’
    confusion, bewilderment, puzzlement, bafflement, incomprehension, lack of comprehension, mystification, bemusement, befuddlement
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    1. 1.1usually perplexities A complicated or baffling situation or thing.
      ‘the perplexities of international relations’
      • ‘People there appear much more occupied with the daily problem of survival than the perplexities of decommissioning.’
      • ‘Delia's stepmother is dealing with strange perplexities of her own.’
      • ‘These contentious issues concern two perplexities in particular.’
      • ‘I needed to find someone who knew the perplexities of managing championship greens.’
      • ‘His mind was a battleground of perplexities and implications.’
      • ‘Our academic knowledge, whether material or religious, does not in any way help solve the perplexities of life.’
      • ‘Yet, people are more prone to make mistakes when sleep deprivation and all the other perplexities of the race take their accumulative toll.’
      • ‘I saw for the first time the anxieties, stresses and perplexities of war.’
      • ‘The novel explores the meaning of enlightenment, and the perplexities of reconciling the ineffable and the everyday.’
      • ‘A dominant assumption in all forms, however, is that the clients have, within themselves, the answer to their perplexities and conflicts.’
      • ‘Indeed, the best interludes are scenes where teenagers capture the perplexities of adolescence with a throwaway observation.’
      • ‘But to talk in this way only invites new perplexities.’
      • ‘The stock market and its vast perplexities were given a great respect from this ancient crone, whose understandings did not reach into that field.’
      • ‘Anyone might be confused by these ongoing perplexities.’
      • ‘Minimally, when this book is open, philosophical perplexities are there, right there, in front of readers' eyes.’
      • ‘Outside the train, the concert footage is mingled with modern-day interviews, much of them regarding the political perplexities at the time.’
      • ‘But a recent meditation in a deserted Moroccan line-up led me to ponder the perplexities of relative perfection.’
      • ‘Both economists were fascinated by the perplexities of elections and voting under simple majority rule.’
      • ‘Military members are real people living at a particular time in history and experiencing the perplexities of changing, clashing values.’
      • ‘Because the characters' moral perplexities are so carefully rendered throughout, they are captivating to the end.’
      complexity, complication, intricacy, problem, difficulty, dilemma, mystery, puzzle, enigma, paradox, obscurity
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  • 2archaic An entangled state.

    ‘the dense perplexity of dwarf palm, garlanded creepers, glossy undergrowth’
    tangle, web, morass, jungle, snarl, twist, turn, complexity, confusion, complication, entanglement, convolution, intricacy
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Origin

Middle English: from Old French perplexite or late Latin perplexitas, from Latin perplexus ‘entangled, confused’ (see perplex).

Pronunciation

perplexity

/pərˈplɛksədi//pərˈpleksədē/