puz·​zling ˈpə-zə-liŋ How to pronounce puzzling (audio)
: difficult to understand or solve
puzzling symptoms
puzzlingly adverb

Examples of puzzling in a Sentence

The directions are somewhat puzzling.
Recent Examples on the Web By examining patterns, motives and psychological triggers, criminal profiling provides insights that often prove crucial in cracking the most puzzling cases. Callie Cassick, Fox News, 28 Mar. 2024 There are numerous photos of the pair together dating back to the 1990s (which makes the flub all the more puzzling), and the Sherlock Holmes actor congratulated the Rum Diary star after the conclusion of his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard in 2021. Wesley Stenzel, EW.com, 11 Mar. 2024 In what might be the most puzzling head-to-head record in English soccer, City — the team that seems to sweep all before it — just cannot get a win at Tottenham. Steve Douglas, USA TODAY, 25 Jan. 2024 So, at first blush, the decision to sit Conley was a little puzzling — not that there’s anything wrong with giving a 36-year-old guard the occasional day off. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, 22 Jan. 2024 What's even more puzzling, leadership in the two unions say, is that the board that governs the airport granted airport police and firefighters the right to unionize in 2019, but excluded baggage handlers, bus drivers, maintenance crew, janitorial staff and others. Binghui Huang, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Mar. 2024 But in an ironic twist, the one thing the dark dimension hypothesis cannot explain is why the cosmological constant is so staggeringly small—a puzzling fact that essentially initiated this whole line of inquiry. Steve Nadis, WIRED, 25 Feb. 2024 The frustrated South Tampa residents who have heard the puzzling deep bass tones periodically since 2022 have proposed a variety of theories, ranging from boat parties to secret military projects to aliens, according to one citizen, Sara Healy, who launched an investigation into the noise. Megan Myers, Fox News, 15 Feb. 2024 Years ago, archaeologists in Germany unearthed one such puzzling artifact. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 6 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'puzzling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1659, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of puzzling was circa 1659

Dictionary Entries Near puzzling

Cite this Entry

“Puzzling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puzzling. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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