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to confuse, bewilder, or perplex:
He was baffled by the technical language of the instructions.
to frustrate or confound; thwart by creating confusion or bewilderment.
to check or deflect the movement of (sound, light, fluids, etc.).
to equip with a baffle or baffles.
Obsolete. to cheat; trick.
to struggle ineffectually, as a ship in a gale.
something that balks, checks, or deflects.
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.
any boxlike enclosure or flat panel for mounting a loudspeaker.
Contemporary Examples

Most bafflingly, the story is technically not fairytale at all, but a historical drama.
Desperately Seeking Prince Charming Sean Macaulay September 22, 2009

Historical Examples

They were such eyes as could be dogged and stern as flint or deep and bafflingly gentle like mossy waters.
The Tempering Charles Neville Buck

Seen near at hand, it was observed to be bafflingly simple in appearance.
The Red Hell of Jupiter Paul Ernst

One or two hurled their tomahawks, but Kiopo’s movements were so bafflingly swift that it was like trying to wound the wind.
Dusty Star Olaf Baker

Her eyes, over which heavy lashes drooped diffidently, were bafflingly deep, as with rich colour drowned in duskiness.
The Roof Tree Charles Neville Buck

One of these caught his eye; it took on a bafflingly familiar appearance.
The Whirligig of Time Wayland Wells Williams

Over her face crept one of those mysterious transformations that made her so bafflingly fascinating to him.
The Grain Of Dust David Graham Phillips

verb (transitive)
to perplex; bewilder; puzzle
to frustrate (plans, efforts, etc)
to check, restrain, or regulate (the flow of a fluid or the emission of sound or light)
to provide with a baffle
(obsolete) to cheat or trick
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

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.

“shielding device,” 1881, from baffle (v.).


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