be·​wil·​der | \bi-ˈwil-dər, bē-\
bewildered; bewildering\bi-​ˈwil-​d(ə-​)riŋ, bē-​ \

Definition of bewilder 

transitive verb

1 : to cause to lose one's bearings (see bearing sense 6c) bewildered by the city's maze of roads

2 : to perplex or confuse especially by a complexity, variety, or multitude of objects or considerations His decision bewildered her. utterly bewildered by the instructions

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Other Words from bewilder

bewilderedly adverb
bewilderedness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for bewilder

puzzle, perplex, bewilder, distract, nonplus, confound, dumbfound mean to baffle and disturb mentally. puzzle implies existence of a problem difficult to solve. the persistent fever puzzled the doctor perplex adds a suggestion of worry and uncertainty especially about making a necessary decision. a behavior that perplexed her friends bewilder stresses a confusion of mind that hampers clear and decisive thinking. a bewildering number of possibilities distract implies agitation or uncertainty induced by conflicting preoccupations or interests. distracted by personal problems nonplus implies a bafflement that makes orderly planning or deciding impossible. the remark left us utterly nonplussed confound implies temporary mental paralysis caused by astonishment or profound abasement. the tragic news confounded us all dumbfound suggests intense but momentary confounding; often the idea of astonishment is so stressed that it becomes a near synonym of astound. was at first too dumbfounded to reply

Examples of bewilder in a Sentence

the change in policy seems to have bewildered many of our customers

Recent Examples on the Web

Kavanaugh himself seemed bewildered today when he was asked about this claim. Fox News, "High school friend of Kavanaugh reacts to new allegation; Alan Dershowitz on Kavanaugh chaos," 28 Sep. 2018 For some reason, people are bewildered this hot 26-year-old guy could be a virgin. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Colton's First Bachelor Trailer Is Here, and It's Wild," 20 Nov. 2018 Conservationists say China’s decision is bewildering given its recent record in supporting wildlife protection, which had contributed to declining rhino-horn prices in recent years. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "China Approves Use of Rhino, Tiger Parts for Medical Treatment and Research," 30 Oct. 2018 Endowed with an innate empathy for newborns and their often bewildered, guilt-ridden parents, T. Berry Brazelton devoted more than half a century to studying, nurturing, and advocating on behalf of young children and their families. Joseph P. Kahn,, "Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, child care expert and pediatrician; at 99," 13 Mar. 2018 They can be bewildered by career progressions that are nonlinear or based on social networks. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Thank You For Your Service. Now What?," 17 Oct. 2018 What’s bewildering is that Democrats seem willing to write off so much human potential as permanent wards of the state. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Food Fight Worth Having," 8 July 2018 The subsequent process was painful, terrifying, bewildering, and agonizing. Stephanie Sprenger, Good Housekeeping, "My Husband's Response to My Miscarriages Strengthened Our Relationship Forever," 24 Oct. 2015 Marie Antoinette, at first bewildered by the rules and conventions of the French court, soon becomes its master, leading fashion, gossip and bon gout — while still claiming to care about none of it., "Why Marie Antoinette Is Really Mean Girls, Versailles Edition," 10 July 2018

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

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for bewilder

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for bewilder

The first known use of bewilder was in 1633

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More Definitions for bewilder



English Language Learners Definition of bewilder

: to confuse (someone) very much


be·​wil·​der | \bi-ˈwil-dər \
bewildered; bewildering

Kids Definition of bewilder

: confuse sense 1 I was bewildered by the complicated instructions.

Other Words from bewilder

bewilderment \-​mənt \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on bewilder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bewilder

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bewilder

Spanish Central: Translation of bewilder

Nglish: Translation of bewilder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bewilder for Arabic Speakers

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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