“He was extremely discomfited by the tendency of his manager to linger; his superior often watched him intently through the office window.”

Based on what’s shown above, what is the best definition of discomfit?

Check your answer!

Choice A - To criticize, belittle, or reprimand someone in a lower position
Choice B - To put someone in a position of moral compromise
Choice C - To express concern about another person’s credibility or performance
Choice D - To make someone feel uneasy, confused, or embarrassed


Discomfit (verb) – to make someone feel uneasy, confused, or embarrassed; or, less commonly, to thwart or disrupt the plans of

Discomfiting (adjective) – inciting embarrassment, confusion, or uneasiness; or, thwarting or messing up the plans of

GRE pro tips:

As you’ve probably noticed, discomfit sounds a lot like discomfort; and they do, in fact, have similar meanings. They both share the root dis meaning “apart” or “un-.” Paired with comfort (“to soothe”), to discomfort means to remove comfort or make uncomfortable. Likewise, discomfit means to make uncomfortable, but in a more specific sense: people who are discomfited are emotionally agitated rather than physically uncomfortable: they may be perplexed, embarrassed, or otherwise uneasy. Situations that might discomfit you include introducing your ex to your new partner or getting the stink eye from your manager.

Example sentences:

“I found my parents’ presence at my dissertation defense both awkward and discomfiting.”

“I can’t think of any employee interests that these new guidelines would discomfit.”