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

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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 Joll is introduced onscreen stepping out of his carriage with remarkably odd sunglasses, which immediately bewilder the Magistrate. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Johnny Depp's terrifyingly brutal role in 'Waiting for the Barbarians': What you need to know," 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, "Waste Not, Shop Not," 11 Feb. 2020 The message bewildered one of the bill’s sponsors, Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Bob Egelko,, "Calif. Gov. Newsom vetoes law banning private arrests of imprisoned immigrants," 16 Oct. 2019 Tourists and residents watched the confrontations, bewildered, as police urged them to clear the streets. Austin Ramzy,, "Hong Kong charges dozens of protesters with rioting," 30 July 2019 Andrew Unterberger: Still sorta bewildered, but not mad. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Billboard Staffers Discuss Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' Tying the Hot 100 Record For Weeks at No. 1," 23 July 2019 That’s left independent business owners bewildered, disappointed and angry. Los Angeles Times, "Column: The PPP is letting our small restaurants and businesses die," 18 Apr. 2020 Many Germans are bewildered by their former royal family’s demands. David Motadel, The New York Review of Books, "What Do the Hohenzollerns Deserve?," 26 Feb. 2020 Still, the no-cause firing left some council members bewildered. Sarah Ravani,, "Oakland’s Schaaf stood firmly by her police chief, until critics turned up the heat," 2 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for bewilder

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The first known use of bewilder was in 1633

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Cite this Entry

“Bewilder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for bewilder


How to pronounce bewilder (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bewilder

: to confuse (someone) very much


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

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