I'm looking for a good antonym to discombobulate. I'm aware that the word is made-up American slang and as such there is no such thing as to be combobulated.

If a person is anything but discombobulated, quite the opposite, are they clear headed, enlightened, in control? Or is there a more fitting description?

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    It's a bit of a mug's game nitpicking over the exact meaning of recent neologisms, but I go with OED's definition: disturbed, upset, disconcerted, confused. On that basis, I can't really endorse any of OP's "opposites". To me, more suitable antonyms would be relaxed and composed. – FumbleFingers Dec 22 '14 at 18:11
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    The fact that discombobulated is made up and not really derived from combobulated does mean that you can't use combobulated. I think more or less anyone would understand what you meant, and if it caught on, combobulated would simply be derived from discombobulated. Combobulated is, in other words, a perfectly cromulent word to me. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 22 '14 at 18:25
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Did you omit a negative somewhere up there, like in the middle of “does mean” perhaps? I really think we need to find out who owns this odious ʀᴇᴀʟ ᴡᴏʀᴅ™ marketeering logo people keep prattling on about around here and sue the pants off them. – tchrist Dec 22 '14 at 18:56
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    @tchrist Yes, I absolutely did. That was supposed to read “doesn’t mean”. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 22 '14 at 19:02
  • I've always used "combobulate". – Hot Licks Dec 23 '14 at 3:13

If a person is anything but discombobulated, quite the opposite, are they clear headed, enlightened, in control? Or is there a more fitting description?

I think that "clear headed" and "in control" describe the opposite of discombobulated fairly well, if not fully or in a single word. On the other hand, we're talking about a fairly silly word that's used in many different ways. Being out of control doesn't necessarily imply discombobulation, either, so it's really just one facet of what a proper antonym could imply.

I'm not sure "enlightened" works at all. Enlightenment connotes some attained knowledge or state of personal development, whereas discombobulation is entirely a state of mind. An enlightened person, on being abruptly woken from a sound sleep, would be no less enlightened for being temporarily discombobulated.

I would use "composed" or "composure" as an all-purpose antonym for "discombobulated" or "discombobulation" but it lacks a little something in the verb form: I could discombobulate myself or someone else; I could compose myself, but I wouldn't compose someone else. I would instead help them to become composed.


The current antonym appears to be recombobulate, as least as this sign from Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin would have you believe (image via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel):

MKE recombobulation pic

That’s the place at TSA checkpoints where you get to put your shoes and belts and jackets and piercings back together.

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    Ha! I like it. Except, it doesn't work for someone before they become discombobulated, does it? – Air Dec 22 '14 at 18:50
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    This doesn't really fit a person's state of mind, indeed. For that, unfazed and composed still feel better. – Martijn Pieters Dec 22 '14 at 19:21
  • I picked composed as the accepted answer even though this is obviously a great antonym in different contexts. – Martijn Pieters Dec 22 '14 at 21:21
  • I think composed is right, but a "Composition Area" sounds, to me, as though there are bits of people lying around that need to be assembled. – Nigel Ellis Dec 23 '14 at 10:33
  • Surely to be recombobulated you must first be discombobulated? You would in the first instance be combobulated, some person or event removes the combobulation and your combulation status becomes "discombobulated." Only then can you be recombobulated - perhaps by having your original combobulation returned or maybe there's a thriving eBay market in second-hand combobulation. Is this perhaps a case similar to one's being reminded of a matter of which one was never aware in the first place? – Magoo Dec 24 '14 at 5:24

I would suggest that "coherent" is a succinct antonym for "discombobulated."

If discombobulated is understood to mean "confused and wavering," then coherent, meaning "logical and consistent in form or though," counters it very well.


"Together" or "put-together" can be used as an adjective to mean level-headed or well organized. "Level-headed" and "organized" are good words as well, in that case.

Martijn Pieters is one of the most together people I know. Among the discombobulated questions on Stack Overflow, nothing can faze him.

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    +1 Just for the blatant buttering up of the OP in the sample sentence. – Martin Smith Dec 22 '14 at 18:38
  • +1 I often see "so well put-together" to mean this. Ex: "Anderson Cooper is so well put together; he is a shining example of how gay men can be just as popular and successful as heteros". – TylerH Dec 22 '14 at 18:52
  • ^ Yes, "put-together" is good. I like it much more than "together" solo; that one always feels very awkward to me. – Air Dec 22 '14 at 18:53

Antonyms would include: clarify, organize, enlighten




MW online

Having psychological orientation e.g. the patient was alert and oriented

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