be·​fud·​dle bi-ˈfə-dᵊl How to pronounce befuddle (audio)
befuddled; befuddling; befuddles

transitive verb

: to muddle or stupefy with or as if with drink
befuddled with drink all the time.Ellen Glasgow
: confuse, perplex
a problem that still befuddles the experts
befuddlement noun

Examples of befuddle in a Sentence

most of the applicants were befuddled by the wording of one of the questions on the driving test
Recent Examples on the Web Even if we also are entitled to feel befuddled by Yelp’s rejection — year after year. Michael Deeds, Idaho Statesman, 24 Jan. 2024 When Rollin asks whether that might be dangerous, Hite looks befuddled. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 29 Nov. 2023 The Spanish literary classic has befuddled would-be adaptors across all mediums. Luis G. Rendon, Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2024 He was befuddled by their approach and wondered why video wasn’t part of the conversation. IEEE Spectrum, 18 Jan. 2024 The Stanley tumblers have become a sensation in recent months, as well as a source of confusion for some, befuddled by their seemingly sudden and overwhelming popularity. Chris Morris, Fortune, 8 Jan. 2024 The European Union debate was contentious, a sign of how A.I. has befuddled lawmakers. Adam Satariano, New York Times, 8 Dec. 2023 Will McClendon and Andrews combined to make four of six shots from beyond the arc and the Bruins befuddled the Wildcats with strong defense that included some rare 2-3 zone usage from Cronin. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 10 Dec. 2023 Online life has befuddled more than enlightened us. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 7 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'befuddle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


be- + fuddle

First Known Use

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of befuddle was in 1801

Dictionary Entries Near befuddle

Cite this Entry

“Befuddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


be·​fud·​dle bi-ˈfəd-ᵊl How to pronounce befuddle (audio)
befuddled; befuddling
: to dull the senses of with or as if with too much drink : stupefy
befuddlement noun

More from Merriam-Webster on befuddle

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