baffle

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

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

Network, which is all about the staging and nominee Bryan Cranston’s performance, is the less-baffling omission. Adam Green, Vogue, "Takeaways From the 2019 Tony Nominations: Downtown Comes to Broadway," 30 Apr. 2019 Daenerys Wilds Out As mentioned above, fans were left baffled by Daenerys’s transformation into the Mad Queen. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Everything Fans Flipped Out About on Last Night’s Game of Thrones," 13 May 2019 Pike tells Saru, the acting captain of the Disco, who seems not only stunned but also utterly baffled by the human concept of a handshake. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 trailer will resonate with TOS fans," 24 July 2018 With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve THE BIG IDEA: Donald Trump sounds genuinely baffled by George H.W. Bush’s 1988 campaign mantra. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s confusion about Bush’s slogan illustrates his narrow view of the presidency," 9 July 2018 On social media, Reds supporters were left baffled by the size of Can's wage packet, though some wished him luck at Juventus. SI.com, "Liverpool Fans React in Shock to Player's Eye-Watering New Wage Packet," 22 June 2018 Par would have been miraculous for the early trio so defeated and baffled by Mother Nature’s cruel gusts, a combined 25-over-par day for McIlroy, Spieth, and Mickelson setting an early tone of defeat. Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "Shinnecock Hills the winner on Day 1 of US Open," 15 June 2018 In short, immigrants under the threat of domestic violence will not qualify for asylum in the United States, a move that has left critics baffled by what dangers do qualify for protection. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Jeff Sessions Just Made It Impossible for Domestic Violence Survivors to Qualify for U.S. Asylum," 12 June 2018 Doctors were initially baffled, but friends posted her symptoms to a Usenet group, drawing attention to Zhu Ling's plight—likely the first telemedicine trial. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study brings us one step closer to solving 1994 thallium poisoning case," 25 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For those who are looking for pillow-top comfort instead of foam, this 3-inch bed topper is filled with two layers of 550 fill power down and feathers inside a cotton shell, while baffle box construction keeps the down clusters evenly distributed. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "7 Top-Rated Mattress Toppers, According to Textile Pros," 19 Dec. 2018 Woodstoves come in two basic types: with and without a catalyst, which is a honeycomb-like baffle plated with precious metals (left in the image). Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "The Ultimate Guide To Cutting and Splitting Firewood," 28 Sep. 2018 The standard way of dealing with this is to add baffles or suppressors on the end of the barrel to divert and slow down the gas. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Science of Russia's New Silent Sniper Rifle," 29 Aug. 2018 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

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

7 Jun 2019

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)

technical : 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 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on baffle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with baffle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for baffle

Spanish Central: Translation of baffle

Nglish: Translation of baffle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of baffle for Arabic Speakers

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