a toy, problem, or other contrivance designed to amuse by presenting difficulties to be solved by ingenuity or patient effort.
something puzzling; a puzzling question, matter, or person.
to put (someone) at a loss; mystify; confuse; baffle: Her attitude puzzles me.
to frustrate or confound, as the understanding; perplex: The problem puzzled him for weeks.
to exercise (oneself, one's brain, etc.) over some problem or matter.
Archaic. to make intricate or complicated.
to be perplexed or confused.
to ponder or study over some perplexing problem or matter.
puzzle out, to solve by careful study or effort: I was unable to puzzle out the message.
- puz·zled·ly, adverb
- puz·zled·ness, noun
- un·puz·zle, verb (used with object), un·puz·zled, un·puz·zling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use puzzle in a sentence
Rereading is like looking at the answer to a puzzle, rather than doing it yourself, he says.
This cocktail hour interactive exhibition changes each year, but last year it involved attendees competing against one another in a cookie-cutter-themed puzzle challenge designed by artist Zak Kitnick.How nonprofits are catering to millennials and rethinking the charity gala for younger generations | Rachel King | September 7, 2020 | Fortune
At first, chronicling daily symptoms was like starting a brand-new puzzle.
He’s given us something to contemplate, a puzzle we must return to more than once to begin to apprehend.The ancient palindrome that explains Christopher Nolan’s Tenet | Alissa Wilkinson | September 4, 2020 | Vox
While that was the intent of the puzzle, it wasn’t explicitly stated.
For passengers, beyond the statistics lies a puzzle that has persisted for years.Flying Coach Is the New Hell: How Airlines Engineer You Out of Room | Clive Irving | November 25, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Working on his own piece of the intelligence puzzle, Stasio racked up impressive victories.
When he looks at the neatly compiled jigsaw puzzle of his life, however, he feels empty, deeply dissatisfied.Is ‘Satisfaction’ a Love Story That’s Too Real About Sex and Marriage? | David Masciotra | September 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But their action just proved another confounding piece of this negligent puzzle.Westgate's Chilling Security Video Reveals Shopping Mall Bloodbath | Nina Strochlic | September 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Without access to the site, reporters, social media, and governments put together pieces of the puzzle.MH17 Is the World’s First Open-Source Air Crash Investigation | Clive Irving | July 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He was an Englishman and came to the valley by chance and settled here, and to his dying day he was a puzzle to the people.The Soldier of the Valley | Nelson Lloyd
The chief puzzle of the problem is that nothing turns out as we were told it would turn out.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
Something seemed to puzzle him, for he was frowning, but by and by the old cynical smile came back.The Soldier of the Valley | Nelson Lloyd
It did not puzzle the Colonel at all to know where the sperrit came from, and he did not like the child the less because of it.The Cromptons | Mary J. Holmes
I can read a chapter to father in the Bible, but the hard names sadly puzzle me.The World Before Them | Susanna Moodie
British Dictionary definitions for puzzle
to perplex or be perplexed
(intr foll by over) to attempt the solution (of); ponder (about): he puzzled over her absence
(tr usually foll by out) to solve by mental effort: he puzzled out the meaning of the inscription
- puzzling, adjective
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