extremely confusing: a bewildering schedule of events.

Origin of bewildering

First recorded in 1785–95; bewilder + -ing2
Related formsbe·wil·der·ing·ly, adverbun·be·wil·der·ing, adjectiveun·be·wil·der·ing·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 bewildering

Contemporary Examples of bewildering

Historical Examples of bewildering

  • No lawful passion can ever be so bewildering or ecstatic as an unlawful one.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • The case of Yates was by all odds the most complex and bewildering of the four.

  • There were such a bewildering lot of them, now that I had pried open my eyes.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • Broken, bewildering, vague, an echo that answers to nothing!


    William D. Howells

  • And to avoid the bewildering depths into which we were led, we suggested a stroll on the sands.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

British Dictionary definitions for bewildering



causing utter confusion; puzzling
Derived Formsbewilderingly, adverb


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 bewildering



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