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[bih-fuhd-l] /bɪˈfʌd l/
verb (used with object), befuddled, befuddling.
to confuse, as with glib statements or arguments:
politicians befuddling the public with campaign promises.
to make stupidly drunk.
Origin of befuddle
First recorded in 1885-90; be- + fuddle
Related forms
befuddler, noun
befuddlement, noun
1. perplex, bewilder, baffle, daze, muddle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for befuddle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is a flat public loss, another attempt to befuddle our thinking.

    A Preface to Politics

    Walter Lippmann
  • He had been drinking alcolite; not enough to befuddle him—but enough to make him triumphantly talkative.

  • Daniel Sands had no cosmic problems on his mind with which to befuddle young Perry.

    In the Heart of a Fool William Allen White
  • But when an artist tells them of recondite principles in æsthetics they accuse him of an endeavour to befuddle them.

    Modern Painting, Its Tendency and Meaning Willard Huntington Wright
  • He had been drinking alcolite; not enough to befuddle him, but enough to make him triumphantly talkative.

    Brigands of the Moon Ray Cummings
  • I am willing to wager my soul, however, that that box is simply a hoax to befuddle us.

    The Million Dollar Mystery Harold MacGrath
  • These Roman nights, with their garlic and incense, are apt to befuddle the brain,—rob it of its power to plot.

    Under the Witches' Moon Nathan Gallizier
British Dictionary definitions for befuddle


verb (transitive)
to confuse, muddle, or perplex
to make stupid with drink
Derived Forms
befuddlement, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for befuddle

"confuse," 1873, from be- + fuddle; originally "to confuse with strong drink or opium" (by 1832). An earlier word in the same sense was begunk (1725). Related: Befuddled; befuddling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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