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

As for Salesforce Park and Salesforce Transit Center, that one-two punch is more brazen than baffling. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Goodbye, San Francisco. Hello, Brandopolis," 30 June 2019 Yorke’s dreamy approach gets its most aptly baffling treatment. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Thom Yorke’s Beautiful New Nightmare," 29 June 2019 Peterson’s low profile baffles Ulis, and the Arizona man has repeatedly come to the Northwest to try to change that. oregonlive.com, "D.B. Cooper search leads to Bachelor Island; ex-FBI agent says suspect will get away with it ‘unless he confesses’," 27 June 2019 The McStays disappeared from their Fallbrook home in February 2010, leaving behind uneaten food on counters and other signs of a swift departure, which baffled police and family members. Alene Tchekmedyian, latimes.com, "Jury recommends death for man convicted in McStay family murders," 24 June 2019 Again, Michigan managed just five hits as future major leaguer Craig Lefferts baffled the Wolverines in an 8-0 victory for the Wildcats (who eventually won the title). Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan baseball's epic history at the College World Series," 22 June 2019 The data mark the continuation of a trend that’s baffled beekeepers and has triggered alarm for farmers who depend on bees for pollinating their crops. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "New data show the US honeybee population is still dying in record numbers," 20 June 2019 Yet while Britain’s politics can baffle, the long-term success of their representative government and competitive party democracy remains clear. Arthur I. Cyr, Lake County News-Sun, "Cyr: British politics reflect change — and stability," 14 June 2019 Orwell thought of the poor as decent people, but he’d be baffled to observe today that the welfare state has created a class of layabouts who, liberated from economic anguish, shackle themselves to screens, drugs, alcohol. Kyle Smith, National Review, "What Would Orwell Think of Us?," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The hole was resealed, and a metal baffle was installed to redirect any future leak away from the equipment. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, "The National Archives’ floating flood wall helped dodge disaster from epic rainfall," 11 July 2019 Non-catalytic stoves draw the woodsmoke through a series of baffles [Fig. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "The Ultimate Guide To Cutting and Splitting Firewood," 28 Sep. 2018 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

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

5 Jul 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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