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

  • transitive v. To frustrate or check (a person) as by confusing or perplexing; stymie.
  • transitive v. To impede the force or movement of.
  • n. A usually static device that regulates the flow of a fluid or light.
  • n. A partition that prevents interference between sound waves in a loudspeaker.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.
  • n. An architectural feature designed to confuse enemies or make them vulnerable.
  • v. Totally bewilder; confuse or perplex.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A defeat by artifice, shifts, and turns; discomfiture.
  • n.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A lever for operating the throttle valve of a winding engine.
  • intransitive v. To practice deceit.
  • intransitive v. To struggle against in vain.
  • transitive v. To cause to undergo a disgraceful punishment, as a recreant knight.
  • transitive v. To check by shifts and turns; to elude; to foil.
  • transitive v. To check by perplexing; to disconcert, frustrate, or defeat; to thwart.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. Disgrace; affront.
  • n. Defeat; discomfiture.
  • n. Same as baffler, 2.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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


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.


  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

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

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  • 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.

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

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  • The all-important "baffle" factor is provided by the album's finale, a five-song journey visiting manic Prodigy beats, serene electro balladry, fractured lo-fi sounds and rent-a-riff techno - inspired, apparently, by Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge.

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  • The experiment was persisted in because its problems are such as baffle and fascinate a translator, and the finished version is offered not merely to students of Middle English but to college classes in the history of English literature, and to non-academic readers.

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  • With reference to the doctrine of his young poetry, the fierce and the tender humanity of his storm and stress period, I fancy a kind of baffle in Lowell, which I should not perhaps find it easy to prove.

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  • Plus there are two horrendous CGI animals … a stag and a bear … that just kind of baffle the mind.

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  • Cf. buffle.

    March 14, 2016