Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To hesitate as if in fear or doubt.
  • intransitive verb To shy away or be overcome with fright or astonishment.
  • intransitive verb To act ineptly or inefficiently; bungle.
  • intransitive verb To cause to be overcome, as with fright or astonishment.
  • intransitive verb To botch; bungle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To take alarm; start with fright; shy, as a horse.
  • To hesitate; stop, as if afraid to proceed, or as if impeded by unforeseen difficulties; waver; shrink.
  • To play fast and loose; dissemble; quibble; equivocate.
  • To bungle; be awkward; make clumsy attempts.
  • noun A dialectal form of bogle.
  • noun The act of shying or taking alarm.
  • noun Objection; scruple; demur.
  • noun A bungle; a botch.
  • noun A pitcher or jug wrought in the figure of a man, not unlike a toby or toby-pitcher.

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

  • intransitive verb To stop or hesitate as if suddenly frightened, or in doubt, or impeded by unforeseen difficulties; to take alarm; to exhibit hesitancy and indecision.
  • intransitive verb To do anything awkwardly or unskillfully.
  • intransitive verb To play fast and loose; to dissemble.
  • transitive verb Local, U. S. To embarrass with difficulties; to make a bungle or botch of.

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

  • verb intransitive To be bewildered, dumbfounded, or confused.
  • verb transitive To confuse or mystify; overwhelm.
  • verb US, dialect To embarrass with difficulties; to bungle or botch.

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

  • verb overcome with amazement
  • verb startle with amazement or fear
  • verb hesitate when confronted with a problem, or when in doubt or fear

Etymologies

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

[Probably from boggle, dialectal variant of bogle.]

Examples

  • (How long before all the boggle is used up, I start to wonder.)

    Discourse.net: Heavy Boots

  • Setting aside where it leads, a couple of things about that search term boggle me.

    The gaping silence

  • Update Alex sez, "A" more ferocious "internet-edition of boggle is available here, using xmlhttprequest for real-time Massively Multiplayer Online Boggling.

    - Boing Boing

  • It was these two stories that made me understand 'boggle' and 'mind'.

    Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Tony Blair said: “I...

  • When I first heardthat Guy Ritchie was going to do a Holmes movie and that the consulting tec was to be played by Robert Downey Jr, my immediate reaction was a kind of boggle-eyed ‘nnnNaah!’

    2009 December « INTERSTELLAR TACTICS

  • When I first heardthat Guy Ritchie was going to do a Holmes movie and that the consulting tec was to be played by Robert Downey Jr, my immediate reaction was a kind of boggle-eyed ‘nnnNaah!’

    2009 December 27 « INTERSTELLAR TACTICS

  • When I first heardthat Guy Ritchie was going to do a Holmes movie and that the consulting tec was to be played by Robert Downey Jr, my immediate reaction was a kind of boggle-eyed ‘nnnNaah!’

    Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes « INTERSTELLAR TACTICS

  • The multiple layers of screen mediation on this one kind of boggle the mind, if one feels like thinking critically about postmodernism.

    Papelbon Dances Again

  • The multiple layers of screen mediation on this one kind of boggle the mind, if one feels like thinking critically about postmodernism.

    Archive 2007-10-01

  • And, like Katrina, parts of it kind of boggle the mind.

    CNN Transcript May 22, 2007

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • As in "The mind boggles!".

    February 7, 2007

  • ...when your unexampled vigilance and exalted virtue made potions, and rapes, and the utmost violences, necessary to the attainment of his detestable end, we see that he never boggled at them.

    Anna Howe to Clarissa Harlowe, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

    January 4, 2008

  • "I'm the king of Boggle there is none higher, I get 11 points off the word quagmire!"

    - Beastie Boys, "Putting Shame In Your Game," off Hello Nasty

    January 22, 2008

  • Perpetually boggled by the number of social networking sites online...

    January 22, 2008

  • He sung the same songs repeatedly one after another every day; so that when, after saying ten or twelve lines after him for three months together, I got to boggle through them without missing, the whole family were in raptures at my memory.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 1 ch. 5

    September 12, 2008

  • 5. A pitcher or jug wrought in the figure of a man, not unlike a toby or toby-pitcher. --CD&C

    November 28, 2011