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

Definition of befuddle

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from befuddle

befuddlement \ bi-​ˈfə-​dᵊl-​mənt How to pronounce befuddlement (audio) , bē-​ \ 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 In the 4th century, Saint Ambrose was baffled to see Saint Augustine read silently; Alexander the Great silently reading a letter from his mother left his soldiers befuddled. Mark Athitakis, Washington Post, "Forget all those reading lists. During a quarantine, any book will do.," 9 May 2020 Traders Village executives, vendors and customers are befuddled and frustrated by the city attorney’s determination, which was outlined in a letter Friday, that flea markets do not fall under the list of entities that can reopen. Sara Cline,, "Traders Village San Antonio baffled by city’s determination that it cannot reopen," 2 May 2020 In the ensuing hours, a befuddling back-and-forth followed, featuring a mysterious retraction, an apology and a pair of statements parceled out by company spokespeople. Washington Post, "Article or ad? Teen Vogue removes glowing Facebook story without explanation," 9 Jan. 2020 Passengers would trudge down the gangway, Samsonites rumbling, a little befuddled by their brush with calamity but on their way. Lauren Smiley, Wired, "27 Days in Tokyo Bay: What Happened on the Diamond Princess," 30 Apr. 2020 The gameplay involves clicking and occasionally dragging objects, but mostly wandering around befuddled. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "The Comfort of Childhood Media During Lockdown," 24 Mar. 2020 No stores have it -- a supply and demand ratio that’s befuddled both consumers and retailers over the past month. Michael Casagrande |, al, "Hand sanitizer? Toilet paper? Local grocer explains why they could be back soon.," 4 Apr. 2020 The spike in demand has befuddled and amazed EO executives, who have quadrupled production of sanitizer in the form of wipes, spray and gel, and soap — normally their less popular products. Lizzie Johnson,, "Transformed by the coronavirus: San Rafael’s EO Products can’t make enough hand sanitizer," 27 Mar. 2020 Generally, images of shiny objects tend to befuddle computers. Sophia Chen, Wired, "How to See the World's Reflection From a Bag of Chips," 26 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'befuddle.' 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 befuddle

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for befuddle

be- + fuddle

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Time Traveler for befuddle

Time Traveler

The first known use of befuddle was in 1801

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Statistics for befuddle

Last Updated

11 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Befuddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for befuddle


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

Kids Definition of befuddle

: confuse sense 1 Your explanation befuddled me.

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More from Merriam-Webster on befuddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for befuddle

Spanish Central: Translation of befuddle

Nglish: Translation of befuddle for Spanish Speakers

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