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From Middle English, from Anglo-Norman descomforter



discomfort ‎(plural discomforts)

  1. Mental or bodily distress.
  2. Something that disturbs one’s comfort; an annoyance.
    • 2013 June 29, “Travels and travails”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 55: 
      Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foes’ glee.


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discomfort ‎(third-person singular simple present discomforts, present participle discomforting, simple past and past participle discomforted)

  1. To cause annoyance or distress to.
  2. (obsolete) To discourage; to deject.
    • Shakespeare
      His funeral shall not be in our camp, / Lest it discomfort us.

Usage notes[edit]

As a verb, the unrelated term discomfit is often used instead, largely interchangeably, though this is proscribed by some as an error, discomfit originally meaning “destroy”, not “distress”.

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]