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[bih-wil-der] /bɪˈwɪl dər/
verb (used with object)
to confuse or puzzle completely; perplex:
These shifting attitudes bewilder me.
Origin of bewilder
First recorded in 1675-85; be- + wilder1
mystify, nonplus, confuse, daze, confound, stagger, muddle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bewilder
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now it assembles the blossoms of a whole long year to bewilder and allure.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • It is only the artificial and the complex that bewilder them.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • She was sufficiently unlike the usual Miss Ffrench to bewilder any one.

    The Flying Mercury Eleanor M. Ingram
  • They bewilder us, but they fail to make a solemn impression.

  • Certainly it was enough to bewilder any man, and Paul was utterly dazed.

    Caught In The Net Emile Gaboriau
  • But perhaps my father is right—perhaps it would frighten and bewilder me.

    Allan's Wife H. Rider Haggard
  • The noise and tumult were so great as to bewilder those who listened.

    Grace Darling

    Eva Hope
  • If I was to give the history all at once, I have so many things to say that I should bewilder you.

    John Deane of Nottingham W.H.G. Kingston
  • We have learnt new, strange ideas that bewilder the good dame.

    Tea-Table Talk Jerome K. Jerome
British Dictionary definitions for bewilder


verb (transitive)
to confuse utterly; puzzle
(archaic) to cause to become lost
Derived Forms
bewilderment, noun
Word Origin
C17: see be-, wilder
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 bewilder

1680s, from be- "thoroughly" + archaic wilder "lead astray, lure into the wilds," probably a back-formation of wilderness. An earlier word with the same sense was bewhape (early 14c.). Related: Bewildered; bewildering; bewilderingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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