to confuse, as with glib statements or arguments:
politicians befuddling the public with campaign promises.
to make stupidly drunk.
Contemporary Examples

I suspect this will buoy liberal spirits, but anger the right and befuddle the independents.
Daily Beast Contributors Weigh In on Obama’s 2012 State of the Union Address January 24, 2012

Historical Examples

It is a flat public loss, another attempt to befuddle our thinking.
A Preface to Politics Walter Lippmann

He had been drinking alcolite; not enough to befuddle him—but enough to make him triumphantly talkative.
Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930 Various

Daniel Sands had no cosmic problems on his mind with which to befuddle young Perry.
In the Heart of a Fool William Allen White

But when an artist tells them of recondite principles in æsthetics they accuse him of an endeavour to befuddle them.
Modern Painting, Its Tendency and Meaning Willard Huntington Wright

I am willing to wager my soul, however, that that box is simply a hoax to befuddle us.
The Million Dollar Mystery Harold MacGrath

He had been drinking alcolite; not enough to befuddle him, but enough to make him triumphantly talkative.
Brigands of the Moon Ray Cummings

These Roman nights, with their garlic and incense, are apt to befuddle the brain,—rob it of its power to plot.
Under the Witches’ Moon Nathan Gallizier

verb (transitive)
to confuse, muddle, or perplex
to make stupid with drink

“confuse,” 1873, from be- + fuddle; originally “to confuse with strong drink or opium” (by 1832). An earlier word in the same sense was begunk (1725). Related: Befuddled; befuddling.


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