- 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.
- a puzzled or perplexed condition; bewilderment.
- a crossword puzzle: Did you do the puzzle in the newspaper today?
- a jigsaw puzzle.
- 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.
Origin of puzzle
Synonyms for puzzleSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for puzzledbewildered, perplexed, doubtful, baffled, rattled, mystified, clueless, thrown, lost, stumped, discombobulated, stuck, nonplussed, floored, shook, dopey, foggy, unglued
Examples from the Web for puzzled
Contemporary Examples of puzzled
The attitude of the local colleagues at first puzzled us, and then made us snicker in a superior way.The Stacks: H.L. Mencken on the 1904 Baltimore Fire
October 4, 2014
Many jazz fans were puzzled by this finding, which seems incompatible with the lackluster sales figures in the genre.Jazz (The Music of Coffee and Donuts) Has Respect, But It Needs Love
June 15, 2014
That question has puzzled astronomers for decades, but a new study published just last week may have the answer.The Weirdest Object in the Universe
Matthew R. Francis
May 18, 2014
He began to read, raising his eyebrows with a puzzled, whimsical air, which made me tremble with suppressed anger.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
The Speaker was puzzled at first, Simpson recalls, pointing out that he was a Republican and Mazzoli a Democrat.The Anguish of Alan Simpson, Tragic Hero of Immigration Reform
January 31, 2014
Historical Examples of puzzled
They did not seem to interest him particularly, or else they puzzled him.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Gilder himself was puzzled over the situation, which was by no means clear to him.Within the Law
She was a trifle subdued, with a puzzled look in her blue eyes.
She puzzled over Tillie a great deal, and over Grace and her kind.
But Christine's eyes were on him often that evening, puzzled, rather sad.
- 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 efforthe puzzled out the meaning of the inscription
Word Origin for puzzle
c.1600, "state of being puzzled," from puzzle (v.); meaning "perplexing question" is from 1650s; that of "a toy contrived to test one's ingenuity" is from 1814.