Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To confuse or perplex, especially so as to frustrate or prevent from taking action.
  • transitive verb To impede the force or movement of (a fluid).
  • noun A usually static device that regulates the flow of a fluid or light.
  • noun A partition that prevents interference between sound waves in a loudspeaker.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Disgrace; affront.
  • noun Defeat; discomfiture.
  • noun Same as baffler, 2.
  • To disgrace; treat with mockery or contumely; hold up as an object of scorn or contempt; insult; specifically, to subject to indignities, as a recreant knight or traitor.
  • To hoodwink; cheat.
  • To circumvent by interposing obstacles or difficulties; defeat the efforts, purpose, or success of; frustrate; check; foil; thwart; disconcert; confound: as, the fox baffled his pursuers; to baffle curiosity or endeavor.
  • To beat about, as the wind or stray cattle do standing grain or grass; twist irregularly together.
  • To practise deceit; shuffle; quibble.
  • To struggle ineffectually; strive in vain: as, the ship baffled with the gale.
  • In coalmining, to brush out or mix fire-damp with air, to such an extent as to render it non-explosive.
  • noun An artificial obstruction (in the form of a board, plate, or cleat placed in the channel) to the continuous smooth flow of a liquid or gas.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To cause to undergo a disgraceful punishment, as a recreant knight.
  • transitive verb To check by shifts and turns; to elude; to foil.
  • transitive verb To check by perplexing; to disconcert, frustrate, or defeat; to thwart.
  • transitive verb (Naut.) one that frequently shifts from one point to another.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To practice deceit.
  • intransitive verb rare To struggle against in vain.
  • noun rare A defeat by artifice, shifts, and turns; discomfiture.
  • noun A deflector, as a plate or wall, so arranged across a furnace or boiler flue as to mingle the hot gases and deflect them against the substance to be heated.
  • noun A grating or plate across a channel or pipe conveying water, gas, or the like, by which the flow is rendered more uniform in different parts of the cross section of the stream; -- used in measuring the rate of flow, as by means of a weir.
  • noun (Coal Mining), Local, U. S. A lever for operating the throttle valve of a winding engine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A device used to dampen the effects of such things as sound, light, or fluid. Specifically, a baffle is a surface which is placed inside an open area to inhibit direct motion from one part to another, without preventing motion altogether.
  • noun An architectural feature designed to confuse enemies or make them vulnerable.
  • verb Totally bewilder; confuse or perplex.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb check the emission of (sound)
  • verb be a mystery or bewildering to
  • noun a flat plate that controls or directs the flow of fluid or energy
  • verb hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps blend of Scottish Gaelic bauchle, to denounce, revile publicly, and French bafouer, to ridicule.]

Examples

  • But that is not the only reason the French word baffle is better heard than seen as I learned the other day while setting out for a voyage south.

    baffle - French Word-A-Day

  • But that is not the only reason the French word baffle is better heard than seen as I learned the other day while setting out for a voyage south.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • But that is not the only reason the French word baffle is better heard than seen as I learned the other day while setting out for a voyage south.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • But that is not the only reason the French word baffle is better heard than seen as I learned the other day while setting out for a voyage south.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • But that is not the only reason the French word baffle is better heard than seen as I learned the other day while setting out for a voyage south.

    baffle - French Word-A-Day

  • I bought a baffle stitched (and if my use of the word baffle, baffles you, see "irony" in the Webster's Dictionary) down feather bed.

    wendchymes Diary Entry

  • He reasoned it was either a sword baffle or some other sort of protective armor.

    Chainer's Torment

  • - The space between the bottom of the cookpot and the baffle should be the minimum required to maintain adequate draft.

    5. Heat, Fire and Stoves

  • The impulses, memories, principles, and energies which we designate by that word baffle enumeration; indeed, they constantly fade and change into one another; and whether the self is anything, everything, or nothing depends on the aspect of it which we momentarily fix, and especially on the definite object with which we contrast it.

    The Sense of Beauty Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory

  • Women who state that they "don't like other girls" and "can only be friends with men" kind of baffle me.

    Rachel Bertsche: Girl-Hate-Girl Action

Comments

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  • Cf. buffle.

    March 14, 2016