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[bog-uh l] /ˈbɒg əl/
verb (used with object), boggled, boggling.
to overwhelm or bewilder, as with the magnitude, complexity, or abnormality of:
The speed of light boggles the mind.
to bungle; botch.
verb (used without object), boggled, boggling.
to hesitate or waver because of scruples, fear, etc.
to start or jump with fear, alarm, or surprise; shrink; shy.
to bungle awkwardly.
to be overwhelmed or bewildered.
an act of shying or taking alarm.
a scruple; demur; hesitation.
bungle; botch.
Origin of boggle1
First recorded in 1590-1600; perhaps from boggle2
Related forms
bogglingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for boggled
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He boggled slightly as he came to the "adjective," but got over it safely.

  • Ludovic boggled horribly at this; but they accorded at last.

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • I am above concealing my sentiments, though I have boggled at uttering them.

    Mary Wollstonecraft Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • When she had gone on to explain, The Guesser's mind had boggled at her audacity—at first.

    But, I Don't Think Gordon Randall Garrett
  • First of all you were going to marry the widow; you boggled that.

    Roger Ingleton, Minor Talbot Baines Reed
  • I boggled about it at first, and thought it was a regular blind lead.

    The Peril Finders George Manville Fenn
  • But he boggled when the boys appeared with cases of dynamite on their shoulder.

    The Flaming Mountain Harold Leland Goodwin
  • Kern boggled a good deal over the answer to this, but finally got it out.

    V. V.'s Eyes

    Henry Sydnor Harrison
British Dictionary definitions for boggled


verb (intransitive) often foll by at
to be surprised, confused, or alarmed (esp in the phrase the mind boggles)
to hesitate or be evasive when confronted with a problem
(transitive) to baffle; bewilder; puzzle
Word Origin
C16: probably variant of bogle1
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 boggled



1590s, "to start with fright" (as a startled horse does), from Middle English bugge "specter" (among other things, supposed to scare horses at night); see bug (n.); also cf. bogey (n.1). The meaning "to raise scruples, hesitate" is from 1630s. Related: Boggled; boggling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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