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.
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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

baffling (ˈbæflɪŋ)
 
adj
impossible to understand; perplexing; bewildering; puzzling
 
bafflingly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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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).

baffling
1783, "bewildering," from baffle; earlier a sailor's word for winds that blow variously and make headway difficult (c.1770s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Dental records confirmed the match, and another sad and baffling case was
  solved.
Think of being the chief figure and directing factor in solving strange
  mysteries and baffling crimes.
The biggest alien planet found so far is baffling scientists with properties
  that defy current scientific explanation.
Now the stark blackness of mountain peaks contrasts with the baffling light of
  twin moons.
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