• (GA) enPR: pərplĕksʹ, IPA: /pɚˈplɛks/
  • (RP) enPR: pəplĕksʹ, IPA: /pəˈplɛks/

perplex (perplexes, present participle perplexing; past and past participle perplexed)

  1. (transitive) To cause to feel baffled; to puzzle#Verb|puzzle.
  2. (transitive) To involve; to entangle; to make intricate or complicated.
    • a. 1705, John Locke, “Of the Conduct of the Understanding”, in Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke: […], London: […] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, […], published 1706, OCLC 6963663 ↗:
      What was thought obscure, perplexed, and too hard for our weak parts, will lie open to the understanding in a fair view.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To plague; to vex; to torment.
    • 1726, George Granville, Chloe
      Chloe's the wonder of her sex, 'Tis well her heart is tender, How might such killing eyes perplex, With virtue to defend her.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Adjective


  1. (obsolete) intricate; difficult
    • How the soul directs the spirits for the motion of the body, according to the several animal exigents, is perplex in the theory.

perplex (plural perplexes)

  1. (obsolete) A difficulty.

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