One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1with object To put an end to the perplexity, confusion, or affliction of. Also occasionally without object.
2with object To disentangle. Usually figurative or in figurative context. Now rare.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in John Donne (1572–1631), poet and Church of England clergyman. From un- + perplex.
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