• synonyms


[bog-uh l]
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verb (used with object), bog·gled, bog·gling.
  1. to overwhelm or bewilder, as with the magnitude, complexity, or abnormality of: The speed of light boggles the mind.
  2. to bungle; botch.
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verb (used without object), bog·gled, bog·gling.
  1. to hesitate or waver because of scruples, fear, etc.
  2. to start or jump with fear, alarm, or surprise; shrink; shy.
  3. to bungle awkwardly.
  4. to be overwhelmed or bewildered.
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  1. an act of shying or taking alarm.
  2. a scruple; demur; hesitation.
  3. bungle; botch.
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Origin of boggle1

First recorded in 1590–1600; perhaps from boggle2
Related formsbog·gling·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for boggled

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He boggled slightly as he came to the "adjective," but got over it safely.

  • Ludovic boggled horribly at this; but they accorded at last.

    Little Novels of Italy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • I am above concealing my sentiments, though I have boggled at uttering them.

    Mary Wollstonecraft

    Elizabeth Robins Pennell

  • When she had gone on to explain, The Guesser's mind had boggled at her audacity—at first.

    But, I Don't Think

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • First of all you were going to marry the widow; you boggled that.

    Roger Ingleton, Minor

    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for boggled


verb (intr often foll by at)
  1. to be surprised, confused, or alarmed (esp in the phrase the mind boggles)
  2. to hesitate or be evasive when confronted with a problem
  3. (tr) to baffle; bewilder; puzzle
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Word Origin

C16: probably variant of bogle 1
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 boggled



1590s, "to start with fright" (as a startled horse does), from Middle English bugge "specter" (among other things, supposed to scare horses at night); see bug (n.); also cf. bogey (n.1). The meaning "to raise scruples, hesitate" is from 1630s. Related: Boggled; boggling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper