Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Back-formation from discombobulate.


combobulate (third-person singular simple present combobulates, present participle combobulating, simple past and past participle combobulated)

  1. (humorous) To compose (one's self); to compose, organize, design, or arrange; to reverse the effect of discombobulation.
    After losing his train of thought, the teacher took a deep breath and attempted to combobulate himself.
    • 1915, Sinclair Lewis, The Trail of the Hawk:
      "I guess it would be better to try to make a Chanute glider—just a pair of sup'rimposed planes, instead of one all combobulated like a bat's wings, like Lilienthal's glider was..."
    • 1991, Madison Smartt Bell, Doctor Sleep, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, page 95:
      ...I thought we might do better if she had a moment to combobulate herself on her own terms.
    • 2008, David Adams Richards, The Lost Highway: a Novel, Anchor Canada, page 125:
      If he could not measure and scale and combobulate, a computer could do it.
    • 2012, Brian McGreevy, Hemlock Grove: a Novel, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, page 94:
      Alexa climbed grudgingly into the back and their father said to just hold on now while we get ourselves combobulated and handed Alyssa a brimming cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee.
    • 2013, G. Meridian Paris, Southern Women, Author House, page 307:
      To keep things not unnecessarily combobulated and focused and the game face on for those that needed me still...
    • 2014, Ernest Hebert, Howard Elman's Farewell, University Press of New England, page 100:
      "It's nothing—I was just combobulating my thoughts."
    • 2015, David Saperstein, Snatched: a Novel, Infinite Words, page 171:
      "Well, please combobulate yourself, Father."