verb be·wil·der \ bi-ˈwil-dər , bē- \
|Updated on: 6 Aug 2018

Definition of bewilder

bewildered; bewildering play \bi-ˈwil-d(ə-)riŋ, bē-\
1 : to cause to lose one's bearings (see bearing 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





Examples of bewilder in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of bewilder from the Web

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


in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Synonym Discussion of 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

BEWILDER Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of bewilder for English Language Learners

  • : to confuse (someone) very much

BEWILDER Defined for Kids


verb be·wil·der \ bi-ˈwil-dər \

Definition of bewilder for Students

bewildered; bewildering
: confuse 1 I was bewildered by the complicated instructions.


\-mənt\ noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up bewilder? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


fullness to the point of excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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