- a toy, problem, or other contrivance designed to amuse by presenting difficulties to be solved by ingenuity or patient effort.
- something puzzling; a puzzling question, matter, or person.
- a puzzled or perplexed condition; bewilderment.
- a crossword puzzle: Did you do the puzzle in the newspaper today?
- a jigsaw puzzle.
- to put (someone) at a loss; mystify; confuse; baffle: Her attitude puzzles me.
- to frustrate or confound, as the understanding; perplex: The problem puzzled him for weeks.
- to exercise (oneself, one's brain, etc.) over some problem or matter.
- Archaic. to make intricate or complicated.
- to be perplexed or confused.
- to ponder or study over some perplexing problem or matter.
- puzzle out, to solve by careful study or effort: I was unable to puzzle out the message.
Origin of puzzle
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for puzzle
For passengers, beyond the statistics lies a puzzle that has persisted for years.Flying Coach Is the New Hell: How Airlines Engineer You Out of Room
November 25, 2014
Without access to the site, reporters, social media, and governments put together pieces of the puzzle.MH17 Is the World’s First Open-Source Air Crash Investigation
July 22, 2014
But just picture a puzzle on the ground; say a puzzle of the Trade Center.Is Synthetic Weed Feuling Yemen’s Terrorism?
May 23, 2014
Police say that the final pieces of the puzzle were put together in the second week of March.Hero or Criminal? James Brady, the WTC Ironworker Who Jumped Off the Building
March 25, 2014
Schindler said this has been a puzzle for the U.S. intelligence community since the days of the cold war.Ex- CIA Chief: Why We Keep Getting Putin Wrong
Eli Lake, Noah Shachtman, Christopher Dickey
March 2, 2014
He had discovered years before that he was sometimes able thus to puzzle her momentarily.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
There was no reasoning which could help him in the midst of that puzzle.Way of the Lawless
We see that the puzzle about identity proves at last to be of Grecian origin.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
There was another consideration, however, which at this time was rather a puzzle.Heroes of the Telegraph
He made for his own woods, and sat down to try to puzzle it out.The Biography of a Grizzly
- to perplex or be perplexed
- (intr foll by over) to attempt the solution (of); ponder (about)he puzzled over her absence
- (tr usually foll by out) to solve by mental efforthe puzzled out the meaning of the inscription
Word Origin and History for puzzle
c.1600, "state of being puzzled," from puzzle (v.); meaning "perplexing question" is from 1650s; that of "a toy contrived to test one's ingenuity" is from 1814.