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confuse (someone or something) with (someone or something)

1. To puzzle or perplex a person or animal by doing something in particular. I wasn't trying to confuse my students with my lesson on sine and cosine, but it seems that I have. If you're not consistent, you'll just end up confusing your dog with your commands.
2. To mistake someone or something for someone or something else. People are always confusing me with my sister because we look so much alike. Oh, I'm not a biology major—you must be confusing me with my roommate. Please don't confuse the pile of clothes I'm donating with the pile of ones I'm keeping.
See also: confuse

confuse about (something)

To puzzle or make uncertain about something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "confuse" and "about." I wasn't trying to confuse my students about sine and cosine, but it seems that I have. I'm sorry I'm so early—I must have been confused about the party's start time.
See also: confuse

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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: an, 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: for, 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: for, mistake
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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: for, mistake
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

mistake for

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: for, mistake
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
[USPRwire, Thu Jan 12 2012] has revealed that car insurance prices have risen at a higher rate than inflation in many regions over the last twelve months.
Charmingly written by Devin Scillian and playfully illustrated by Marty Kelley, "Missile Toe: A Very Confused Christmas" is an unforgettable collection of silly poems, classic Christmas carols, and traditions re-imagined through the eyes of a very confused kid.
Confused Woman: Tales & Advice on Love, Dating & Relationships is a cozy collection of practical relationship lessons learned the hard way.
More than a few people found themselves confused by Apple Music's layout, trying to get the video to load from Connect, an area of the service meant to be filled with social media-style updates from specific artists, rather than a place to consume video content.
Viral games specialist Koko Digital has created a new game for car insurance comparison site - Cara's Dune Buggy Dash.
[ClickPress, Tue Oct 30 2012] 1 in 3 people in the UK (34%) say they are 'worth more dead than alive' according to new research by, but 40% of people in the new study say that they have dependents who could not pay the bills if they died, and nearly 60% do not have life insurance.
THE NSPCC will receive pounds 5 from for every credit card that is taken out through the comparison website during April.
CONFUSED.COM is launching a promotion with loyalty card scheme Nectar in a bid to attract more customers.
THE chief executive of price comparison site has left the business.
INSURANCE group Admiral said its price comparison website Confused.
Not to be confused with that eminence muse of Dogtown, Stay D Peralta was right down the street giving cine-king Roger Corman a lifetime achievement award in another film festival.
The piecemeal approach employed by Congress and the administration to enact legislation dealing with concurrent receipt of military longevity retirement pay and disability compensation has left many eligible veterans confused and bewildered, and it is adding to the costs of administering the program.
Some children would have trouble focusing on certain aspects of a problem; the entire page of work would look like a confused mass instead of a problem in a particular sequence.