verb (used with object)

to confuse or puzzle completely; perplex: These shifting attitudes bewilder me.

Origin of bewilder

First recorded in 1675–85; be- + wilder1

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

Examples from the Web for bewilder

Contemporary Examples of bewilder

Historical Examples of bewilder

  • Now it assembles the blossoms of a whole long year to bewilder and allure.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • It is only the artificial and the complex that bewilder them.

    The Gorgon's Head

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • She was sufficiently unlike the usual Miss Ffrench to bewilder any one.

    The Flying Mercury

    Eleanor M. Ingram

  • They bewilder us, but they fail to make a solemn impression.

  • Certainly it was enough to bewilder any man, and Paul was utterly dazed.

    Caught In The Net

    Emile Gaboriau

British Dictionary definitions for bewilder


verb (tr)

to confuse utterly; puzzle
archaic to cause to become lost
Derived Formsbewilderment, noun

Word Origin for bewilder

C17: see be-, wilder
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 bewilder

1680s, from be- "thoroughly" + archaic wilder "lead astray, lure into the wilds," probably a back-formation of wilderness. An earlier word with the same sense was bewhape (early 14c.). Related: Bewildered; bewildering; bewilderingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper