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[meyz] /meɪz/
a confusing network of intercommunicating paths or passages; labyrinth.
any complex system or arrangement that causes bewilderment, confusion, or perplexity:
Her petition was lost in a maze of bureaucratic red tape.
a state of bewilderment or confusion.
a winding movement, as in dancing.
verb (used with object), mazed, mazing.
Chiefly Dialect. to daze, perplex, or stupefy.
Origin of maze
1250-1300; Middle English mase, noun use of aphetic variant of amasen to amaze
Related forms
[meyzd-lee, mey-zid-] /ˈmeɪzd li, ˈmeɪ zɪd-/ (Show IPA),
mazedness, noun
mazelike, adjective
intermaze, verb (used with object), intermazed, intermazing.
Can be confused
maize, maze. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for maze
  • Its several political parties and the maze of their tribal ramifications promised a situation of singular confusion.
  • The stay against confusion implies a moment of clarity, a moment when you see through the maze.
  • Fisher sees maze design as a combination of three factors: structure, aesthetics and the puzzle.
  • The foreign students and scholars face a maze of federal.
  • It's that time of year again: yup, that's right, time to head outside and get lost in your local corn maze.
  • US-made electric cars face a maze of export restrictions.
  • Freeways begin to crisscross the land in a madhouse maze.
  • Children can walk--or more likely run--the maze created by the clipped boxwood hedges.
  • There is only one potentially complex part in the building process: the placing of the walls within the maze.
  • When a rat is running a particular maze, the electrical pattern produced in the hippocampus is specific to that maze.
British Dictionary definitions for maze


a complex network of paths or passages, esp one with high hedges in a garden, designed to puzzle those walking through it Compare labyrinth (sense 1)
a similar system represented diagrammatically as a pattern of lines
any confusing network of streets, pathways, etc: a maze of paths
a state of confusion
an archaic or dialect word for amaze
Derived Forms
mazelike, adjective
mazement, noun
Word Origin
C13: see amaze
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
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Word Origin and History for maze

c.1300, "delusion, bewilderment" (also as a verb, "stupefy, daze"), possibly from Old English *mæs, which is suggested by the compound amasod "amazed" and verb amasian "to confound, confuse" (see amaze). Perhaps related to Norwegian dialectal mas "exhausting labor," Swedish masa "to be slow or sluggish." Meaning "labyrinth" first recorded late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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