baffle

[baf-uhl]
verb (used with object), baffled, baffling.
1.
to confuse, bewilder, or perplex: He was baffled by the technical language of the instructions.
2.
to frustrate or confound; thwart by creating confusion or bewilderment.
3.
to check or deflect the movement of (sound, light, fluids, etc.).
4.
to equip with a baffle or baffles.
5.
Obsolete. to cheat; trick.
verb (used without object), baffled, baffling.
6.
to struggle ineffectually, as a ship in a gale.
noun
7.
something that balks, checks, or deflects.
8.
an artificial obstruction for checking or deflecting the flow of gases (as in a boiler), sounds (as in the loudspeaker system of a radio or hi-fi set), light (as in a darkroom), etc.
9.
any boxlike enclosure or flat panel for mounting a loudspeaker.

Origin:
1540–50; 1910–15 for def 8; perhaps < Scots bauchle to disgrace, treat with contempt, equivalent to bauch (see baff) + -le

bafflement, noun
baffler, noun
baffling, adjective
bafflingly, adverb
bafflingness, noun
unbaffled, adjective
unbaffling, adjective
unbafflingly, adverb


1. See thwart.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
baffle (ˈbæfəl)
 
vb
1.  to perplex; bewilder; puzzle
2.  to frustrate (plans, efforts, etc)
3.  to check, restrain, or regulate (the flow of a fluid or the emission of sound or light)
4.  to provide with a baffle
5.  obsolete to cheat or trick
 
n
6.  baffle board, Also called: baffle plate a plate or mechanical device designed to restrain or regulate the flow of a fluid, the emission of light or sound, or the distribution of sound, esp in a loudspeaker or microphone
 
[C16: perhaps from Scottish dialect bachlen to condemn publicly; perhaps related to French bafouer to disgrace]
 
'bafflement
 
n
 
'baffler
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

baffle
1540s, "to disgrace," perhaps a Scottish respelling of bauchle "to disgrace publicly" (especially a perjured knight), which is probably related to Fr. bafouer "to abuse, hoodwink" (16c.), possibly from baf, a natural sound of disgust, like bah (cf. Ger. baff machen "to flabbergast"). Meaning "to bewilder,
confuse" is from 1640s; that of "to defeat someone's efforts" is from 1675. The noun sense of "shielding device" is first recorded 1881. Related: Baffled "confounded" (1650s); bafflement (1841).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
No wonder many people responded with bafflement and even anger.
We in medicine have watched all this mainly with bafflement, even indifference.
Most of them look at me with wide eyes, somewhere between panic and bafflement.
Yet amid that bafflement, you may end up intrigued as well.
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