baffle

verb
baf·​fle | \ˈba-fəl \
baffled; baffling\ ˈba-​f(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of baffle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to defeat or check (someone) by confusing or puzzling : to confuse or frustrate completely : disconcert Her behavior baffled her parents.

2 : to check or break the force or flow of by or as if by a baffle (see baffle entry 2) baffle the steam

baffle

noun

Definition of baffle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a device (such as a plate, wall, or screen) to deflect, check, or regulate flow or passage (as of a fluid, light, or sound)

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Other Words from baffle

Verb

bafflement \ ˈba-​fəl-​mənt \ noun
baffler \ ˈba-​f(ə-​)lər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for baffle

Synonyms: Verb

balk, beat, checkmate, discomfit, foil, frustrate, thwart

Antonyms: Verb

advance, cultivate, encourage, forward, foster, further, nurture, promote

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Choose the Right Synonym for baffle

Verb

frustrate, thwart, foil, baffle, balk mean to check or defeat another's plan or block achievement of a goal. frustrate implies making vain or ineffectual all efforts however vigorous or persistent. frustrated attempts at government reform thwart suggests frustration or checking by crossing or opposing. the army thwarted his attempt at a coup foil implies checking or defeating so as to discourage further effort. foiled by her parents, he stopped trying to see her baffle implies frustration by confusing or puzzling. baffled by the maze of rules and regulations balk suggests the interposing of obstacles or hindrances. officials felt that legal restrictions had balked their efforts to control crime

Examples of baffle in a Sentence

Verb

I was baffled by many of the scientific terms used in the article. the language barrier baffled everyone and discouraged us from attempting another teleconference

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Manager Joe Maddon continues to be baffled by the lack of solid contact by his underachieving lineup. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Plenty of blame shared in Cubs' 14-inning loss to Cardinals," 7 May 2018 Nearly a decade after Caylee Anthony’s death, the mystery continues to baffle and outrage onlookers who wonder what, exactly, happened to the 2-year-old girl who was last seen alive in June 2008. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Casey Anthony Shrugs Off Renewed TV Interest: She 'Moved on and Wishes Everyone Else Would, Too'," 30 Mar. 2018 Leave it to Erykah Badu, beloved artist and mystical persona, to baffle fans and audiences in her latest interview. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Erykah Badu Insists She Will See Something Good in Everybody Including Hitler," 24 Jan. 2018 But unlike so many other losses, the Orioles seemed to be sticking to a plan to combat the backwards-pitching Wade LeBlanc, who has baffled them before. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Britton's blown save in 9th costs Davis, Orioles in 8-7 loss to Mariners in 11 innings," 28 June 2018 One story that long baffled me is the incident of Lot’s wife. Glenna Christensen, idahostatesman, "Learn from the past, but don't live in it, for faith is about the future | Idaho Statesman," 26 Apr. 2018 Graham’s White House ties proved problematic when his close friend Richard Nixon resigned in the Watergate scandal, leaving Graham devastated and baffled. Washington Post, "Rev. Billy Graham, known as ‘America’s Pastor,’ dies at 99," 7 Mar. 2018 But why a gecko should come to represent an insurance company baffled him, beyond the obvious wordplay, which seemed weak even for advertising and was outdone only by the Aflac Duck. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, "Fungus," 4 June 2017 Their quest goes on because modern medicine, repeatedly baffled in attempts to find the cause of migraine, has struggled to provide reliable relief. David Noonan, Scientific American, "New Nerve Drugs May Finally Prevent Migraine Headaches," 1 Dec. 2015

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The speakers point downward, so a pair of baffles at the bottom called deflectors—one tuned to the frequencies emitted by each speaker—redirect the sound outward, in all directions, through the speaker grille. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "What It Looks Like When You Take Apart an Amazon Echo," 24 Feb. 2017 The 20-denier outer fabric is pleasantly soft and quiet, and low-stretch baffles ensure a stable sleeping surface. Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Thru-Hiking Gear of 2018," 15 May 2018 Their thick bark and tall straight trunks — branchless for the first 150 to 200 feet — function like massive acoustic baffles, aided by a sound-damping carpet of dense duff. Robert Earle Howells, SFChronicle.com, "Should we hide the locations of Earth’s greatest trees?," 3 July 2018 The horizontal baffles create a stable, supportive sleeping surface, and foil panels stitched inside help hold warm air near your body, adding necessary nighttime warmth underneath you. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "Plan Your First Backpacking Trip," 13 June 2018 Keep in mind that your homemade baffle will need to be smooth and wide so the squirrels can’t get a grip on it or jump over it. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "8 Ways To Keep Squirrels Away From Your Bird Feeders," 20 June 2017 From there the plot bends and baffles in ways that I am neither obliged nor able to summarize. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Cannes delivers a triumph with Lee Chang-dong’s slow-‘Burning’ masterwork," 18 May 2018 Inspired by Ettore Sottsass' famed Italian design firm the Memphis Group, Enoteca Nostrana's front door opens to a riot of color, with indigo sound baffles, aquamarine chairs and peachy pink walls. Michael Russell, OregonLive.com, "Nostrana chef Cathy Whims is opening a Euro-style wine bar, and it's gorgeous," 5 Apr. 2018 Then mount a baffle on a pole or chain to block access. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Meet the D.C. man who wrote the book on defeating birdseed-stealing squirrels," 15 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'baffle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of baffle

Verb

1675, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1881, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for baffle

Verb

probably alteration of Middle English (Scots) bawchillen to denounce, discredit publicly

Noun

noun derivative of baffle entry 1

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Statistics for baffle

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for baffle

The first known use of baffle was in 1675

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More Definitions for baffle

baffle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of baffle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to confuse (someone) completely

baffle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of baffle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a device (such as a wall or screen) that is used to control the flow of something (such as a fluid, light, or sound)

baffle

verb
baf·​fle | \ˈba-fəl \
baffled; baffling\ ˈba-​fə-​liŋ, ˈba-​fliŋ \

Kids Definition of baffle

: to completely confuse The instructions baffled us.

Other Words from baffle

baffled adjective

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