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 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 (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 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 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 periodicals archive ?
Even at the kindergarten level, the vocabulary such as order, more than, and capacity, can be confusing for students.
Advance organizers are recommended for many subjects and all types of learners; they are particularly useful for students with learning disabilities because of their difficulty focusing and processing information that make lessons seem confusing.
Finally Safire warned against confusing such adverbs with adjectives ending in ly--such as steely-eyed, spindly-legged, gravelly-voiced and pimply-faced.
Instead of selling a confusing long-term-care policy, insurers could offer a simple long-term-cash policy.
Likewise, a term long-term-care policy could offer a simpler, less expensive alternative to the confusing, expensive policies offered today.
The effort to control women's voices produced millions of noiseless voices and thousands of confusing voices.
McDonald summarizes the legal landscape for small businesses in two words: confusing and changing.
Wireless companies are wasting billions of dollars as a direct result of their confusing communications and marketing practices," said Alan Siegel, Chairman of Siegel & Gale and one of the nation's foremost authorities on business communications.
In Florida 2000 we saw thousands of voters accidentally vote for Patrick Buchanan because the Butterfly (ballot) design used there was confusing.
Votewatch will post samples of well-written and confusing ballots on its website, www.
The debate is replete with confusing talk and testimony which may result in victimizing women like me with bad legislation passed by misinformed politicians.
Recently, Ron Fitzsimmons, a pro-choice advocate, said he lied and distorted facts and figures that were, in themselves, already confusing because no reliable data are kept.
If every community was doing this, it would be confusing when trying to find a business,'' said Gail Ortiz, spokeswoman for Santa Clarita.