puz·​zling | \ ˈpə-zə-liŋ How to pronounce puzzling (audio) , ˈpəz-liŋ\

Definition of puzzling

: difficult to understand or solve puzzling symptoms

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Other Words from puzzling

puzzlingly adverb

Examples of puzzling in a Sentence

The directions are somewhat puzzling.

Recent Examples on the Web

Nothing was so puzzling, however, as his falling out with French World Cup-winning midfielder Paul Pogba, signed in 2016 for a then-world record fee of $130 million. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Mourinho Fired From Manchester United as Premier League Heavyweights Struggle," 18 Dec. 2018 The team also found that several of 67P's puzzling features could be explained by catastrophic collisions. Nola Taylor Redd, Space.com, "Rubber-Ducky Comets May Have Taken a Violent Beating," 3 May 2018 Head coach Tyronn Lue made some puzzling lineup decisions once again, plastering Tristan Thompson to the bench after an impactful first stint, riding Jose Calderon a bit too long and using a Kevin Love-Jeff Green frontcourt in the fourth quarter. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers keep their composure, play like a true team in must-win Game 4: Chris Fedor," 23 Apr. 2018 Advice to readers: Don’t be daunted by the book’s initial blizzard of puzzling jargon, or by the (sometimes overburdened) plotlines. Adam Woog, The Seattle Times, "Crime fiction: Jasper Fforde’s ‘Early Riser’ is not your average mystery novel," 25 Mar. 2019 The final phase is the most puzzling: From mid-August the dollar ignored all those supportive fundamental factors. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Everything Looked Great for the Dollar Recently, So Why Didn’t It Go Up?," 24 Sep. 2018 Brooks wants to find out if maybe those meals are behind some of the puzzling results from last year’s study, such as a loss in muscle mass. Keith Ridler, The Seattle Times, "Study shows wild-land firefighters suffer health, reaction-time declines," 2 Sep. 2018 Executives at the company, which has nearly 200 people enrolled in its health-insurance plan, described the price cut as welcome but puzzling. Melanie Evans, WSJ, "What Does Knee Surgery Cost? Few Know, and That’s a Problem," 21 Aug. 2018 This slowdown in price inflation is, itself, somewhat puzzling. Jason Furman, Vox, "The real reason you’re not getting a pay raise," 11 Aug. 2018

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

circa 1659, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near puzzling

puzzle out

puzzle over






Statistics for puzzling

Last Updated

29 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for puzzling

The first known use of puzzling was circa 1659

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More Definitions for puzzling



English Language Learners Definition of puzzling

: causing or likely to cause confusion : difficult to solve or understand

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More from Merriam-Webster on puzzling

Spanish Central: Translation of puzzling

Nglish: Translation of puzzling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of puzzling for Arabic Speakers

Comments on puzzling

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


something valued as if it were money

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