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

Definition of puzzling

: difficult to understand or solve puzzling symptoms

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from puzzling

puzzlingly adverb

Examples of puzzling in a Sentence

The directions are somewhat puzzling.
Recent Examples on the Web The plan was going fairly smoothly until Patton pulled one of the most puzzling and controversial moves of the war. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Global markets power back as Big Tech drowns out the coronavirus and GDP gloom," 31 July 2020 One of the more puzzling aspects of the novel coronavirus is just how many organ systems are impacted through the course of the disease. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Thursday, July 30," 30 July 2020 More puzzling, there is no body, or any sign of there ever having been a body, and Vesta has never met a Magda in her tiny town. Stephanie Hayes, The Atlantic, "Ottessa Moshfegh’s Strange and Riveting Female Narrators," 7 July 2020 Perhaps most disheartening of all is a puzzling lack of focus on understanding how to change those numbers. Scottie Andrew And Jillian Martin, CNN, "MLB's Ian Desmond, in a powerful post about racism and social injustice, opts out of the 2020 season," 30 June 2020 That this gameplay still feels special and unique makes this 2002 re-release a worthy puzzling option for anyone who may have missed the series before. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "You should play Namco’s lost arcade-action classic, Mr. Driller DrillLand," 25 June 2020 But a few autopsies have shown the virus lurking in puzzling place like the spleen, creating continuing uncertainty. Anchorage Daily News, "These people have been sick with coronavirus for more than 60 days," 11 June 2020 The move was somewhat puzzling, as a weakside linebacker lacking sufficient coverage experience is a luxury for this roster. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "NFL draft 2020: Dolphins, Raiders among first round's most questionable picks," 24 Apr. 2020 For the Blue Jays, the deal is also a bit puzzling. Matt Martell, SI.com, "Grading the Mets' Trade for Marcus Stroman," 28 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of puzzling

circa 1659, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about puzzling

Time Traveler for puzzling

Time Traveler

The first known use of puzzling was circa 1659

See more words from the same year

Statistics for puzzling

Last Updated

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Puzzling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puzzling. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for puzzling


How to pronounce puzzling (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of puzzling

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!