December 14, 2011
bewilder (verb)
\bih-WIL-der\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to confuse especially with a great many things to worry about
How do you use it?
The magician's tricks rarely fooled adults, but they were clever enough to bewilder the audiences at children's parties.
Are you a word wiz?

We hope you won't find today's quiz bewildering. Just tell us which of these words you think means about the same thing as "bewilder."

"Puzzle" implies the existence of a problem that is difficult to solve (as in "the mysterious fever puzzled the doctor"), while "bewilder" stresses a confusion of mind that interferes with clear and decisive thinking ("the number of possibilities bewildered them"). Another synonym, "perplex," adds a suggestion of worry and uncertainty, especially about making a decision ("her behavior perplexed her friends"), and "distract" implies a disturbance or an uncertainty caused by conflicting interests or concerns ("distracted by personal problems").
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