Simple Definition of bamboozle
: to trick or confuse (someone)
Full Definition of bamboozle
bamboozledbamboozlingplay \-ˈbüz-liŋ, -ˈbü-zə-\
Examples of bamboozle in a sentence
<bamboozled by con men into buying worthless land in the desert>
<she's completely bamboozled by the latest changes in the tax code>
Did You Know?
In 1710, Irish author Jonathan Swift wrote an article on "the continual Corruption of our English Tongue" in which he complained of "the Choice of certain Words invented by some pretty Fellows." Among the inventions Swift disliked were bamboozle, bubble (a dupe), put (a fool), and sham. (Perhaps he objected to the use of sham as a verb; he himself had used the adjective meaning "false" a couple of years previously.) What all these words appear to have in common is a connection to the underworld as jargon of criminals. Other than that, the origin of bamboozle remains a mystery, but the over-300-year-old word has clearly defied Swift's assertion that "All new affected Modes of Speech . . . are the first perishing Parts in any Language."
Origin of bamboozle
First Known Use: 1703
Seen and Heard
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