puz·​zle·​ment | \ˈpə-zəl-mənt \

Definition of puzzlement 

1 : the state of being puzzled : perplexity

2 : puzzle

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Examples of puzzlement in a Sentence

The cause of the accident has been a source of puzzlement. The explanation only increased their puzzlement.

Recent Examples on the Web

While President Trump has tried to connect the fires to a lack of water in the state, the response from the state has been one of puzzlement. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Raging California Blaze Becomes Largest Wildfire in State's History," 7 Aug. 2018 In Kaysersberg, which has flourished from tourists who flock here for the restaurants and hotels, and for the bucolic landscapes nearby, residents expressed puzzlement at Mr. Bourdain’s death. New York Times, "Sorrow and Questions in a French Village After Anthony Bourdain’s Suicide," 9 June 2018 More broadly, the broader public reacts to Trump with puzzlement and amusement. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "What's at stake in Trump's North Korea summit is bigger than we think," 11 June 2018 But the actions and statements from the Trump administration concerning the economic relationship between the two countries have provoked equal parts anxiety, puzzlement and anger in Canada. Julie Hirschfeld Davis, New York Times, "Trump Repeats False Claim About Canada After Admitting Uncertainty Over Figure," 15 Mar. 2018 Drivers looked on with puzzlement or smiles at the man whose sleeveless T-shirt said: Pottery Saved My Life. Cassie Owens, Philly.com, "Throwing down: How this potter from Kensington found fine art success," 26 June 2018 Most of the scribbling divulged their puzzlement of why someone so revered as an athlete and so successful and respected as an orthodontist in his post-football life could make such an egregious mistake. Brody Miller, NOLA.com, "LSU infielder Josh Smith shut down for the rest of the season," 20 May 2018 Even though Polanowicz had repeatedly praised her performance and acknowledged his puzzlement at her treatment, the lawsuit said, Henderson was asked to resign effective in January. Liz Kowalczyk, BostonGlobe.com, "Former Steward Health Care executive files harassment suit against company," 17 May 2018 House Republicans often stall themselves with ideological rifts and, frankly, puzzlement over an erratic Republican president who isn’t really a Republican. Andrew Malcolm, San Francisco Chronicle, "Malcolm: Without vibrant parties, our democracy flails in gridlock," 16 May 2018

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

1731, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for puzzlement

The first known use of puzzlement was in 1731

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More Definitions for puzzlement



English Language Learners Definition of puzzlement

: a feeling of being confused because something is difficult to understand

: something that is difficult to understand


puz·​zle·​ment | \ˈpə-zəl-mənt \

Kids Definition of puzzlement

: the state of being perplexed She had a look of puzzlement on her face.

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More from Merriam-Webster on puzzlement

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puzzlement

Spanish Central: Translation of puzzlement

Nglish: Translation of puzzlement for Spanish Speakers

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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