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verb (used with object), be·fud·dled, be·fud·dling.
  1. to confuse, as with glib statements or arguments: politicians befuddling the public with campaign promises.
  2. to make stupidly drunk.
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Origin of befuddle

First recorded in 1885–90; be- + fuddle
Related formsbe·fud·dler, nounbe·fud·dle·ment, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for befuddled

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But it was the multiplicity of laws that befuddled White Fang and often brought him into disgrace.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • To his befuddled mind, the first step was to dress the part.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • And what was I to tell him,—that I was all befooled and befuddled?

    The O'Ruddy

    Stephen Crane

  • But try as he would his befuddled brain failed to find the answer.

    The Street That Wasn't There

    Clifford Donald Simak

  • The eyes were only vaguely familiar in his befuddled memory.

British Dictionary definitions for befuddled


verb (tr)
  1. to confuse, muddle, or perplex
  2. to make stupid with drink
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Derived Formsbefuddlement, 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

Word Origin and History for befuddled



"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper