Definition of bamboozle
bamboozlingplay \-ˈbüz-liŋ, -ˈbü-zə-\
bamboozlementplay \-ˈbü-zəl-mənt\ noun
bamboozle was our Word of the Day on 12/07/2016. Hear the podcast!
Examples of bamboozle in a sentence
bamboozled by con men into buying worthless land in the desert
she's completely bamboozled by the latest changes in the tax code
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
First Known Use: 1703
BAMBOOZLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of bamboozle for English Language Learners
: to trick or confuse (someone)
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up bamboozle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).