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

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 The cinema’s programming seems designed to bewilder the public. New York Times, 21 July 2022 The confluence of Marine units and commanders involved in the accident can bewilder even the most savvy of observers. San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Feb. 2022 Ahead, more celebrity Halloween costumes to shock and bewilder you below, including Megan Thee Stallion, Halle Bailey, and Steve Buscemi. Vulture Editors, Vulture, 2 Nov. 2021 Nowadays, a lady who offered the back of her hand to a gentleman would only bewilder him. Washington Post, 28 June 2021 Some may bewilder you, like the bag of fluffy bonito flakes., 18 May 2021 Joll is introduced onscreen stepping out of his carriage with remarkably odd sunglasses, which immediately bewilder the Magistrate. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 7 Aug. 2020 High fashion, for most people, is a passing blur of bewildering, ever-shifting, sometimes ridiculous seasonal image statements. Cintra Wilson, The New York Review of Books, 11 Feb. 2020 The message bewildered one of the bill’s sponsors, Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Bob Egelko,, 16 Oct. 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of bewilder

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About bewilder

Time Traveler for bewilder

Time Traveler

The first known use of bewilder was in 1633

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near bewilder

be wild about



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bewilder

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bewilder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for bewilder


be·​wil·​der | \ bi-ˈwil-dər How to pronounce bewilder (audio) \
bewildered; bewildering

Kids Definition of bewilder

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

Other Words from bewilder

bewilderment \ -​mənt \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on bewilder

Nglish: Translation of bewilder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bewilder for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!