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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

Synonyms for befuddle

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

Related Words for befuddlement

puzzlement, stupor, confusion, discombobulation, bewilderment, fog, stupefaction, perplexity, bafflement, obfuscation

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)
  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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper