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 befuddle (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 Black Friday, at its best, is a chaotic affair that overflows with FOMO and can befuddle even the most grizzled of bargain hunters. Chris Morris, Fortune, 28 Nov. 2019 The move mirrored a signature style that Nani has often used to befuddle defenders and break himself open, giving the captain his second goal of the season. Julia Poe,, 1 May 2021 People order food in many different ways; this may not be a big challenge for a human but, as McDonald's and White Castle are learning, can befuddle a machine. Rachel Metz, CNN, 26 Feb. 2021 Despite missing their starting quarterback, the Razorbacks found ways to befuddle the Tigers, a team that had held three of its last four opponents to 10 points or less. Joe Walljasper, Star Tribune, 5 Dec. 2020 Others have blamed confusing messaging, such as the U.K.'s hodgepodge of regional measures, which at times appeared to befuddle even government officials. NBC News, 9 Nov. 2020 But one that, so long as it isn’t strychnined into oblivion, can largely take care of itself, while also — in an ironic twist that would befuddle Little Red Riding Hood — padding people’s bank accounts. Star Tribune, 29 Oct. 2020 The moving target that is remote, hybrid or full in-person learning continues to befuddle Parma City Schools Superintendent Charles Smialek. John Benson, cleveland, 19 Oct. 2020 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, 9 May 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

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The first known use of befuddle was in 1801

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Last Updated

18 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Befuddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on befuddle

Nglish: Translation of befuddle for Spanish Speakers


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