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

Trump’s return to Twitter is baffling in many respects; China escalates trade tensions. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Vox Sentences: It looks like Trump had a ... productive Easter," 3 Apr. 2018 Somehow, after taking leads of 10-0, 27-10 and that gaping 65-43, No. 2 seed Cincinnati went trudging off to summer all baffled and bummed. Chuck Culpepper, chicagotribune.com, "Nevada is the unkillable zombie of the NCAA tournament's haunted graveyard region," 18 Mar. 2018 The concept of going to a restaurant, not eating the food, and then exercising at said restaurant is just baffling. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "This Victoria's Secret Model Is Being Accused of Fat Shaming for Exercising at an In-N-Out Burger," 17 Dec. 2018 But if Perry is baffling, that is as nothing compared to what ensues in Juliet’s foray into espionage. Katherine A. Powers, WSJ, "‘Transcription’ Review: Heard During Wartime," 20 Sep. 2018 That’s a particular thing, that sort of cornball comedy, relocating the ornery hillbilly or farmer to another environment that is baffling to the city people. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Publishing the Best of the Desert: An Interview With Ken Layne," 25 Apr. 2018 The case of a Seattle-Tacoma airport ground worker, who seized an empty Horizon Air airplane and flew it for nearly an hour before crashing, has baffled experts. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Did the Horizon Air Worker Fly a Plane Without Formal Training?," 13 Aug. 2018 Masters were sometimes baffled at their slave’s flight. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, "Ads for runaway slaves in British newspapers show the cruelty of the ‘genteel’," 3 July 2018 Watch: Jordan Peele Plays With the Greatest Horror Movie Weapons Lena wants answers—and so does the government, which is similarly baffled about the circumstances of her husband’s loss and return. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Annihilation Review: This Movie Will Get Under Your Skin," 23 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

15 Feb 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 \
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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