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Synonym Chooser

How does the verb baffle differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of baffle are balk, foil, frustrate, and thwart. While all these words mean "to check or defeat another's plan or block achievement of a goal," baffle implies frustration by confusing or puzzling.

baffled by the maze of rules and regulations

When would balk be a good substitute for baffle?

While in some cases nearly identical to baffle, balk suggests the interposing of obstacles or hindrances.

officials felt that legal restrictions had balked their efforts to control crime

When can foil be used instead of baffle?

Although the words foil and baffle have much in common, foil implies checking or defeating so as to discourage further effort.

foiled by her parents, he stopped trying to see her

Where would frustrate be a reasonable alternative to baffle?

The synonyms frustrate and baffle are sometimes interchangeable, but frustrate implies making vain or ineffectual all efforts however vigorous or persistent.

frustrated attempts at government reform

When is thwart a more appropriate choice than baffle?

The words thwart and baffle are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, thwart suggests frustration or checking by crossing or opposing.

the army thwarted his attempt at a coup

Thesaurus Entries Near baffle

Cite this Entry

“Baffle.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

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