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

Writer and director Ari Aster is the one to thank, or blame, for this extraordinary experience that’s equal parts befuddling and enthralling. Lindsey Bahr, Detroit Free Press, "Horror film ‘Midsommar’ casts a disorienting spell on audiences," 3 July 2019 The two towers of the cathedral’s façade seem to have befuddled the image recognition system. Alex Webb | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "The Terrible Timing of YouTube’s Notre-Dame Snafu," 17 Apr. 2019 The comment, which left others in the room visibly befuddled, was a reference to the U.S. practice of rinsing meat in chlorine at the end of the production process. Washington Post, "Pence tiptoes past Brexit tumult for an oh-so-chipper chat," 6 Sep. 2019 So, to review: The batter's job is to bat the ball in a way that eludes the fielders or leaves the field altogether, and the bowler's job is to befuddle the batter and destroy a precarious arrangement of sticks. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Explaining cricket, the world's second-most popular sport, to Americans," 13 July 2019 The Lions, caught off guard and befuddled, declined comment. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, "Barry Sanders, London and the most bizarre escape of his career," 21 July 2019 When test results showed that these children, most of whose parents were HIV-negative, had contracted the virus, health workers were befuddled. Washington Post, "Hundreds of children in Pakistan have been infected with HIV. Used needles could be to blame.," 7 June 2019 Robert Mueller looked old, tired and at times befuddled during his testimony. Dallas News, "Letters - Misled or forewarned? Readers give their take on the Mueller hearing," 4 Aug. 2019 Video clips of Mueller appearing at times befuddled were circulated far and wide on social media. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "In the age of the information wars, Mueller's traditionalist approach was his major flaw," 26 July 2019

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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Statistics for befuddle

Last Updated

16 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for befuddle

The first known use of befuddle was in 1801

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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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