baf·​fle | \ ˈba-fəl How to pronounce baffle (audio) \
baffled; baffling\ ˈba-​f(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce baffle (audio) \

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



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)

Other Words from baffle


bafflement \ ˈba-​fəl-​mənt How to pronounce baffle (audio) \ noun
baffler \ ˈba-​f(ə-​)lər How to pronounce baffle (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for baffle

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for baffle


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 That intentional obscurity might baffle audiences, and in Men, intrigue often curdles into fear. David Sims, The Atlantic, 14 May 2022 The film uses it as the setting for a Joe Manganiello cameo, then lets Hunter escape with an ease that would baffle the heroes of that Mountain Goats song. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Apr. 2022 On issues like taxes and health care, their views are far more popular than those of the GOP, but the party is increasingly identified with cultural stances that baffle older voters and voters who didn't go to college. Noah Millman, The Week, 12 Oct. 2021 Each woman holds her ground — take, for example, the episode about polyamory, in which Willow seems to baffle her co-hosts — but the inter-family good will prevents the show from ever erupting into true tension. New York Times, 10 Feb. 2022 The way that society pressures young couples to get married but can’t fathom two best friends making that same commitment never fails to baffle me. April Lee,, 9 Feb. 2022 APTs are more complex to plan and manage than traditional trials, and their statistical methods may baffle the average physician, but the fda has embraced the approach, and COVID has proved their utility. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, 20 Jan. 2022 Dunse also listens to her customers, even when their requests baffle her. The Week, 26 Feb. 2018 But others had problems that seemed to baffle everyone involved. Megan Crepeau,, 22 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The baffle-box construction is ideal to prevent the fill from shifting. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 10 May 2022 The condition known as long covid continues to frustrate its sufferers, baffle scientists and alarm people who are concerned about being infected by the coronavirus. Washington Post, 28 Feb. 2022 Elsewhere, the tweeter is hermetically sealed and floats on the front baffle, resulting in lower distortion and a lower crossover point. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 Unusual speeches that baffle are somewhat typical of Johnson, who recently delivered a speech on climate that cited Kermit the Frog. Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2021 The drive units are attached to a stiff 3mm aluminium baffle plate before being fitted to the cabinet. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 More mysterious than the choking dust storms and orange skies, harder to comprehend than the Great Scar or the Red Zones, these pockets of inexplicable green health baffle us all. Karen Russell, The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2021 At Sparrow Pond, summer rains caused more sediment to flow in, while the baffle prevented water from rising. Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2021 The front baffle of the new speakers is made from multiple layers of wood and can be ordered in one of three finishes: walnut, wengè with maple inlays, plus piano black. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 15 June 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of baffle


1675, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1881, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for baffle


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


noun derivative of baffle entry 1

Learn More About baffle

Dictionary Entries Near baffle

Baffin Island



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Statistics for baffle

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Baffle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for baffle


baf·​fle | \ ˈba-fəl How to pronounce baffle (audio) \
baffled; baffling\ ˈba-​fə-​liŋ , ˈba-​fliŋ \

Kids Definition of baffle

: to completely confuse The instructions baffled us.

Other Words from baffle

baffled adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on baffle

Nglish: Translation of baffle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of baffle for Arabic Speakers


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