confusion

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Related to Confusions: puzzlement, lack of clarity

confusion worse confounded

Confusion made worse. Recess was already underway when the fire alarm rang, leading to confusion worse confounded. Trying to wrangle all those kids was certainly a chore!
See also: confusion, worse

smoke and mirrors

Trickery, deception, or misdirection. The candidate has been accused of using smoke and mirrors during the debate to undermine the credibility of his opponent. Before computer generated effects, filmmakers had to use a lot of smoke and mirrors to make fantastic, unbelievable things look realistic in their movies.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and mirrors

deception and confusion. (Said of statements or more complicated rhetoric used to mislead people rather than inform. Alludes to the way a magician uses optical illusion to create believability while performing a trick. Fixed order.) Most people know that the politician was just using smoke and mirrors to make things look better than they really were. Her report was little more than smoke and mirrors. No one will believe any of it.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

throw someone or something into confusion

to cause people or a process to become confused, aimless, or disorderly. She made her entrance early and threw eveyone onstage into confusion. The judge's surprise ruling threw the courtroom into confusion.
See also: confusion, throw

smoke and mirrors

Smoke and mirrors are words and actions that are intended to deceive or confuse people, especially by making something seem better than it really is. The president claims that his economic plan is free of the smoke and mirrors of previous presidential budget proposals. Thousands of shareholders learned too late that the company's image of success had been created with smoke and mirrors. Note: Magicians sometimes use smoke and mirrors when they are performing tricks, in order to confuse or deceive people.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and mirrors

the obscuring or embellishing of the truth of a situation with misleading or irrelevant information. chiefly North American
1998 Sunday Telegraph Ministers accused the Conservatives of a ‘smoke and mirrors’ con trick.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and ˈmirrors

used to describe ways of tricking people or of hiding the truth: He said the government had used smoke and mirrors to raise taxes.The commission has declared war on the smoke and mirrors of sales promotions.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and mirrors

n. a strategy of deception and cover up. Her entire report was nothing but smoke and mirrors. Who could believe any of it?
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and mirrors

Something that deceives or distorts the truth: Your explanation is nothing but smoke and mirrors.
See also: and, mirror, smoke
References in classic literature ?
These were not expressions to do Fanny any good; for though she read in too much haste and confusion to form the clearest judgment of Miss Crawford's meaning, it was evident that she meant to compliment her on her brother's attachment, and even to appear to believe it serious.
For some minutes the whole court was in confusion, getting the Dormouse turned out, and, by the time they had settled down again, the cook had disappeared.
There were huge, ponderous folios, and quartos, and little duodecimos, in English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldaic, and all other languages that either originated at the confusion of Babel or have since come into use.
All these books, no doubt, were tossed about in confusion, thus forming a visible emblem of the manner in which their contents were crowded into Cotton Mather's brain.
If any one should propose that the same persons should cultivate their own lands and the public ones also, then there would be a deficiency [1268b] of provisions to supply two families, as the lands would not immediately yield enough for themselves and the soldiers also; and all these things would occasion great confusion.
Besides, what can prevent confusion on the bench when one judge thinks a fine should be different from what another has set it at; one proposing twenty minae, another ten, or be it more or less, another four, and another five; and it is evident, that in this manner they will differ from each other, while some will give the whole damages sued for, and others nothing; in this situation, how shall their determinations be settled?
Her manner betrayed none of the conscious confusion which would have shown itself, if her heart had been secretly inclined toward him.
The confusion and hesitation which she had already noticed began to show themselves in his manner once more.