verb (used with object), be·fud·dled, be·fud·dling.

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 formsbe·fud·dler, nounbe·fud·dle·ment, noun

Synonyms for befuddle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for befuddlement

Contemporary Examples of befuddlement

Historical Examples of befuddlement

  • But their befuddlement was only a tithe of that which struck Cleigh an hour later.

    The Pagan Madonna

    Harold MacGrath

  • The befuddlement of Antoine and the waiter who assisted him added to the general joy.

    Lady Larkspur

    Meredith Nicholson

  • She had only added to his befuddlement and he bent forward, soliciting some more lucid statement of her position.

    A Hoosier Chronicle

    Meredith Nicholson

British Dictionary definitions for befuddlement


verb (tr)

to confuse, muddle, or perplex
to make stupid with drink
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 befuddlement



"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