confuse

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confuse the issue

To obfuscate or distract from the topic at hand by introducing irrelevant and/or misleading information. Politicians are always confusing the issue during debates by pointing out their opponents' history in other issues. Don't confuse the issue with talk about your past achievements, please stick to the question I'm asking you. His muddled explanation only served to confuse the issue further for his students.
See also: confuse, issue

confuse someone about something

to cause someone to be puzzled or bewildered about something. She confused me about the time of the concert. I wish you wouldn't confuse me about those things.
See also: confuse

confuse someone or an animal with something

to use something to bewilder or confuse someone or an animal. You have confused me with your clever talk. You confused the dog with your orders.
See also: animal, confuse

confuse (someone) with (someone else)

 and confuse (something) with (something else)
to mix someone up with someone else; to mistake someone or something with something else. I'm afraid you have confused me with my brother. Don't confuse the old ones with the new ones.
See also: confuse

mistake (someone) for (someone else)

 and mix (someone) up with (someone else)
to confuse someone with someone else; to think that one person is another person. I'm sorry. I mistook you for John. Tom is always mistaking Bill for me. We don't look a thing alike, though. Try not to mix Bill up with Bob, his twin.
See also: mistake

mistake (something) for (something else)

 and mix (something) up with (something else)
to confuse two things with each other. Please don't mix this idea up with that one. I mistook my book for yours.
See also: mistake

mistake somebody/something for somebody/something

to think that a person or thing is really someone or something else The prison buildings could almost be mistaken for a college campus.
See also: mistake

mistake for

Take someone or something for someone or something else, as in I'm sorry, I mistook you for her sister, or Don't mistake that friendly smile for good intentions; he's a tough competitor. [c. 1600]
See also: mistake

mistake for

v.
To wrongly perceive that someone or something is someone or something else: I'm sorry to have bothered you—I mistook you for a friend of mine. Don't mistake the poison ivy for a box elder vine!
See also: mistake
References in classic literature ?
Until the moment when I placed my mouth in his World, he had neither seen me, nor heard anything except confused sounds beating against -- what I called his side, but what he called his INSIDE or STOMACH; nor had he even now the least conception of the region from which I had come.
On the evening of the day on which Valentine had learned of the flight of Eugenie and the arrest of Benedetto, -- Villefort having retired as well as Noirtier and d'Avrigny, -- her thoughts wandered in a confused maze, alternately reviewing her own situation and the events she had just heard.
If I made the attempt I only grew red and confused, and rushed away to weep in a corner.
That explains it, then--and what has thus confused your mind, Mr.
One gets a little confused with them--both having doors, you know.
Beyond, the shore, strewed over with these rocks like gravestones, ascended, in form of an amphitheater among mastic-trees and cactus, a sort of small town, full of smoke, confused noises, and terrified movements.
She grew confused, glanced round, and, seeing the doll she had thrown down on one of the tubs, picked it up.
She wanted to risk it, come what might, but that was not his way; his way was with a pencil and a piece of paper, and if she confused him with suggestions he had to begin at the beginning again.
I thought you said it was ruled by a wonderful Wizard," objected Jack, seeming more and more confused.
Some girls, addressed with this reckless intermingling of jest and earnest, would have felt confused, and some would have felt flattered.
Trifling as it was, the reference to Montbarry, proceeding from that woman of all others, confused and agitated her.
Carelessly opening the front door, which to his surprise was not locked, the sheriff was amazed to see, lying on the floor of the passage into which it opened, a confused heap of men's apparel.
Incapable of grouping the past, he confused the episode of Jacky with another episode that had taken place in the days of his bachelorhood.
The guest reclined, inert, upon a chair, while the room, confused in speech as though it were an apartment in Babel, tried to discourse to him of its divers tenantry.
In other cases, the particular in question may, in the same sense, be regarded as caused by several objects together with the medium; in this case, it may be called a confused appearance of several objects.