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From Old French desconfiture (rout, defeat); compare French déconfiture.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪsˈkʌmfɪtʃə(ɹ)/, /dɪsˈkʊmfɪtʃə/


discomfiture (countable and uncountable, plural discomfitures)

  1. (obsolete) Defeat in battle
  2. An emotional state similar to that arising from defeat; frustration, disappointment, perplexity or embarrassment.
    • 1866, Herman Melville, Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War[1], Supplement:
      Some of us are concerned because as yet the South shows no penitence. But what exactly do we mean by this? Since down to the close of the war she never confessed any for braving it, the only penitence now left her is that which springs solely from the sense of discomfiture; and since this evidently would be a contrition hypocritical, it would be unworthy in us to demand it.