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

So pardon my puzzlement by Lock being treated less like fellow second-round pick Dalton Risner and more like undrafted free agent Kelvin McKnight in terms of the team’s urgency to develop a young player with skills. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: It’s time for Broncos to remove “Handle with Care” stickers from uniform of rookie QB Drew Lock," 25 July 2019 The same is true for the illustrations, which convey puzzlement, joy, vulnerability, love and movement — the bristling energy of life — with just a few pen strokes and whisks of watercolor. Ann Patchett, Washington Post, "Sandra Boynton is tweaking some of her beloved children’s books. But why mess with perfection?," 27 June 2019 As with the process of scientific discovery, Bongard problems initially arouse puzzlement and even frustration as your mind struggles to find the key features behind a working rule and to ignore distracting features of no importance. Quanta Magazine, "Bongard Problems and Scientific Discovery," 8 June 2017 Still, conversations about Mr. Roth within the industry invariably include some degree of puzzlement over his evolving appearance and his fondness for the spotlight. Michael Paulson, New York Times, "A Broadway Mogul Redefines Clout in His Own Fashion," 6 June 2018 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

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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Statistics for puzzlement

Last Updated

4 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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
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.

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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

Comments on puzzlement

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


concealment of treason or felony

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