puz·​zle·​ment | \ ˈpə-zəl-mənt How to pronounce puzzlement (audio) \

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 Spock, the science officer of the Starship Enterprise, could raise one eyebrow to express his puzzlement at human folly. Daniel Glick, Scientific American, "Can the Amazon Save the Planet?," 3 Apr. 2017 When no music began, players looked around in puzzlement, shrugged and returned to their respective bench areas. Dallas News, "NBA ended issue of playing the anthem, but the result of Mark Cuban’s social experiment remains to be seen," 10 Feb. 2021 Australia's bishops have also expressed puzzlement and were seeking clarity. Nicole Winfield, Star Tribune, "Australian agency reviewing data on Vatican money transfers," 8 Jan. 2021 Despite this unfavorability gap, recent polls in the wake of this year’s protests over police misconduct have been a puzzlement: The Black community seemingly wants more police in the streets despite having generally unfavorable views of the police. Shom Mazumder, The New Republic, "What Black People Really Think About the Police," 15 Dec. 2020 At one point, OUC board president Cesar Calvet expressed puzzlement over the disconnect between the utility’s staff presentation of the EIRP and the response by the community, especially over efficiency and residential solar power. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, "OUC approves controversial clean-energy plan despite widespread community opposition," 8 Dec. 2020 Tiyona Simpson looked down at her real-time traffic app with puzzlement. Washington Post, "The crumbling bridge that two presidents couldn’t fix faces an uncertain future," 17 Nov. 2020 So far, the organization’s involvement in those runoffs has not been questioned—a puzzlement considering its braintrust has never demonstrated a yen for Democrats controlling the Senate. Eoin Higgins, The New Republic, "The Media Is Already Rehabilitating the GOP—and Walking America Into a Trap," 11 Nov. 2020 The dissenting justices expressed puzzlement and incredulity at Rehnquist’s unusual reading of the Presidential Electors Clause. Ian Macdougall, ProPublica, "Why Bush v. Gore Still Matters in 2020," 1 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for puzzlement

Time Traveler

The first known use of puzzlement was in 1731

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Statistics for puzzlement

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Puzzlement.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puzzlement. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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
chiefly US : something that is difficult to understand


puz·​zle·​ment | \ ˈpə-zəl-mənt How to pronounce puzzlement (audio) \

Kids Definition of puzzlement

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

More from Merriam-Webster on puzzlement

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puzzlement

Nglish: Translation of puzzlement for Spanish Speakers

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