- to confuse, bewilder, or perplex: He was baffled by the technical language of the instructions.
- to frustrate or confound; thwart by creating confusion or bewilderment.
- to check or deflect the movement of (sound, light, fluids, etc.).
- to equip with a baffle or baffles.
- Obsolete. to cheat; trick.
- to struggle ineffectually, as a ship in a gale.
- something that balks, checks, or deflects.
- an artificial obstruction for checking or deflecting the flow of gases (as in a boiler), sounds (as in the loudspeaker system of a radio or hi-fi set), light (as in a darkroom), etc.
- any boxlike enclosure or flat panel for mounting a loudspeaker.
Origin of baffle
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bafflement
It might appear senseless but that is appearance only, our bafflement before such barbarity.Senseless. Evil. Silver Linings. Our Misguided Terms of Terror.
April 23, 2013
This accounts for some of the bafflement that occasionally greets Bachmann's statements.Bachmann's Unrivaled Extremism
June 15, 2011
She held out her hand for the bank-note which, with a sense of bafflement, he gave her.The Place of Honeymoons
Mike took heart, his experience believed and his bafflement shared.Mr. Wicker's Window
Dick shook his head in bafflement, and glanced at his watch.The Little Lady of the Big House
Kirk ran his fingers through his hair in a gesture of bafflement.Twelve Times Zero
Howard Carleton Browne
His voice sounded odd and tired, and there was an ache of bafflement in his young eyes.David Dunne
Belle Kanaris Maniates
- to perplex; bewilder; puzzle
- to frustrate (plans, efforts, etc)
- to check, restrain, or regulate (the flow of a fluid or the emission of sound or light)
- to provide with a baffle
- obsolete to cheat or trick
- Also called: baffle board, baffle plate a plate or mechanical device designed to restrain or regulate the flow of a fluid, the emission of light or sound, or the distribution of sound, esp in a loudspeaker or microphone
Word Origin and History for bafflement
1540s, "to disgrace," perhaps a Scottish respelling of bauchle "to disgrace publicly" (especially a perjured knight), which is probably related to French bafouer "to abuse, hoodwink" (16c.), possibly from baf, a natural sound of disgust, like bah (cf. German baff machen "to flabbergast"). Meaning "to bewilder, confuse" is from 1640s; that of "to defeat someone's efforts" is from 1670s. Related: Baffled; baffling.
"shielding device," 1881, from baffle (v.).