follow Dictionary.com

Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?

baffle

[baf-uh l] /ˈbæf əl/
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
1540-1550
1540-50; 1910-15 for def 8; perhaps < Scots bauchle to disgrace, treat with contempt, equivalent to bauch (see baff) + -le
Related forms
bafflement, noun
baffler, noun
baffling, adjective
bafflingly, adverb
bafflingness, noun
unbaffled, adjective
unbaffling, adjective
unbafflingly, adverb
Synonyms
1. See thwart.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for baffles
  • The macroeconomic side involves some of the company's seemingly altruistic behavior, which often baffles observers.
  • The generator is in an enclosed and insulated case, which baffles the noise.
  • The interior walls of the adjoining drums shall be cut as shown in the plans to create baffles.
  • The baffles help to control the forward and backward liquid surge.
  • The baffles are movable panels located on the back wall of the hood that create slots in which air is exhausted.
  • Using entry tunnels and baffles can allow full access to the machinery without compromising the effectiveness of the enclosure.
  • Capture of the smoke improved when temporary baffles were constructed to limit interference with room air currents.
  • The baffles were reversed in direction, which was considered major structural damage.
  • The baffles were used to mimic a complicated flow path for the agent as in the case of a real nacelle.
  • If the compartment walls have holes in them, they are called baffles.
British Dictionary definitions for baffles

baffle

/ˈbæfəl/
verb (transitive)
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
noun
6.
Also called baffle board, 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
Derived Forms
bafflement, noun
baffler, noun
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from Scottish dialect bachlen to condemn publicly; perhaps related to French bafouer to disgrace
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for baffles

baffle

v.

1540s, "to disgrace," perhaps a Scottish respelling of bauchle "to disgrace publicly" (especially a perjured knight), which is probably related to French bafouer "to abuse, hoodwink" (16c.), possibly from baf, a natural sound of disgust, like bah (cf. German baff machen "to flabbergast"). Meaning "to bewilder, confuse" is from 1640s; that of "to defeat someone's efforts" is from 1670s. Related: Baffled; baffling.

n.

"shielding device," 1881, from baffle (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for baffle

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for baffles

15
17
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with baffles

Nearby words for baffles