bamboozle

play
verb bam·boo·zle \bam-ˈbü-zəl\

Definition of bamboozle

bamboozled

;

bamboozling

play \-ˈbüz-liŋ, -ˈbü-zə-\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to deceive by underhanded methods :  dupe, hoodwink I got bamboozled by the salesperson to buy a more expensive model.

  3. 2 :  to confuse, frustrate, or throw off thoroughly or completely a quarterback bamboozled by an unexpected defense

bamboozlement

play \-ˈbü-zəl-mənt\ noun

bamboozle was our Word of the Day on 12/07/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of bamboozle in a Sentence

  1. bamboozled by con men into buying worthless land in the desert

  2. she's completely bamboozled by the latest changes in the tax code

Recent Examples of bamboozle from the Web

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

Did You Know?

In 1710, Irish author Jonathan Swift wrote an article on "the continual Corruption of our English Tongue" in which he complained of "the Choice of certain Words invented by some pretty Fellows." Among the inventions Swift disliked were bamboozle, bubble (a dupe), put (a fool), and sham. (Perhaps he objected to the use of sham as a verb; he himself had used the adjective meaning "false" a couple of years previously.) What all these words appear to have in common is a connection to the underworld as jargon of criminals. Other than that, the origin of bamboozle remains a mystery, but the over-300-year-old word has clearly defied Swift's assertion that "All new affected Modes of Speech . . . are the first perishing Parts in any Language."

Origin and Etymology of bamboozle

origin unknown


BAMBOOZLE Defined for English Language Learners

bamboozle

play
verb

Definition of bamboozle for English Language Learners

  • : to trick or confuse (someone)



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marked by lack of plan or order

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