completely puzzled or confused; perplexed.

Origin of bewildered

First recorded in 1675–85; bewilder + -ed2
Related formsbe·wil·dered·ly, adverbbe·wil·dered·ness, nounun·be·wil·dered, adjectiveun·be·wil·dered·ly, adverb



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 bewildered

Contemporary Examples of bewildered

Historical Examples of bewildered

  • If he made me blind, may he not easily have bewildered her, and have been himself bewildered?


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • She dragged him in a bewildered state of mind to the door, which she held open.


    William J. Locke

  • "You're very kind," said Aunt Frank, with a sigh of bewildered relief.

  • I knew that it was I myself, and not my mode of life, that bewildered her.

  • A creature of hope and joy, the first draught of sorrow had bewildered her.

British Dictionary definitions for bewildered


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 bewildered

1680s, past participle adjective from bewilder (q.v.).



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