Dictionary > Baffle


1. To cause to undergo a disgraceful punishment, as a recreant knight. He by the heels him hung upon a tree, And baffled so, that all which passed by The picture of his punishment might see. (Spenser)
2. To check by shifts and turns; to elude; to foil. The art that baffles times tyrannic claim. (Cowper)
3. To check by perplexing; to disconcert, frustrate, or defeat; to thwart. A baffled purpose. A suitable scripture ready to repel and baffle them all. (South) Calculations so difficult as to have baffled, until within a . . . Recent period, the most enlightened nations. (Prescott) The mere intricacy of a question should not baffle us. (Locke) Baffling wind, one that frequently shifts from one point to another.
Synonym: to balk, thwart, foil, frustrate, defeat.
Origin: cf. Lowland Scotch bauchle to treat contemptuously, bauch tasteless, abashed, jaded, Icel. Bagr uneasy, poor, or bagr, n, struggle, baegja to push, treat harshly, OF. Beffler, beffer, to mock, deceive, dial. G. Bappe mouth, beffen to bark, chide.

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