puzzle#

puzzle#
puzzle vb Puzzle, perplex, mystify, bewilder, distract, nonplus, confound, dumbfound are comparable when they mean to disturb and baffle mentally or throw into mental confusion. The first three words express various mental reactions to what is intricate, complicated, or involved.
Puzzle implies such complication or intricacy that the mind finds it exceedingly, often distressingly, difficult to understand or to solve
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a great poet may tax our brains, but he ought not to puzzle our wits— Birrell

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there was much that impressed, puzzled and troubled a foreign observer about the new Germany— Shirer

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Perplex adds to puzzle the implications of worry and uncertainty, especially about reaching a decision on a course of action or the right solution of a personal problem
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Southerners . . . were terribly perplexed and torn when the conceptions on which they had been living began to be broken down— Edmund Wilson

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To mystify is to perplex, sometimes by playing upon one's credulity, but more often by concealing im-portant facts or factors or by obscuring issues
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when she was weary of mystifying foreign statesmen, she turned to find fresh sport in mystifying her own ministers— J. R. Green

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once prescriptions were written almost altogether in Latin. This was not done to mystify the patient— Fishbein

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Bewilder often implies perplexity, but it stresses a confused state of mind that makes clear thinking and complete comprehension practically impossible
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bewildered by contradictory statements and orders

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do not run to the Socialists or the Capitalists, or to your favorite newspaper, to make up your mind for you: they will only unsettle and bewilder you— Shaw

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Distract implies strong agitation arising from divergent or conflicting considerations or interests
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she seemed nervous and distracted, kept glancing over her shoulder, and crushing her handkerchief up in her hands— Cather

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conscious of... a current of unsaid speeches, which would distract her feelings and perhaps confuse a little her thoughts— Gibbonsy

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The last three words imply less mental disturbance and distress than some of the preceding terms, but they heighten the implication of bafflement and mental confusion.
Nonplus implies blankness of mind or utter inability to find anything worth saying or doing
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the problem which nonplusses the wisest heads on this planet, has become quite a familiar companion of mine. What is reality?— L. P. Smith

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she was utterly nonplussed by the pair of them .... What on earth were they?— Goudge

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Confound (see also MISTAKE) implies mental confusion, but it stresses the implication either of mental paralysis or of profound astonishment
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so spake the son of God; and Satan stood a while as mute, confoundedMilton

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language to him is a means of communication .... He does not wish to dazzle or confound his friends, but only to make himself understood— Crothers

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this sorrow . . . seemed to have confounded him beyond all hope— Styron

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Dumbfound tends to replace confound in casual and oral use
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I cannot wriggle out of it; I am dumbfoundedDarwin

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he captured the public and dumbfounded the critics— Macy

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Sometimes dumbfound so strongly implies astonishment that it is used in place of astound
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I was dumbfounded to hear him say that I was on a quixotic enterprise— William Lawrence

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Analogous words: amaze, astound, flabbergast (see SURPRISE): *confuse, muddle, addle: *embarrass, disconcert, discomfit
puzzle n *mystery, problem, enigma, riddle, conundrum

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • puzzle — [ pɶzl; pɶzɶl ] n. m. • 1909; mot angl. , de to puzzle « embarrasser » 1 ♦ Jeu de patience composé d éléments à assembler pour reconstituer un dessin. ⇒région. casse tête. Faire un puzzle. 2 ♦ Fig. Multiplicité d éléments qu un raisonnement… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • puzzle — s.n. Joc de perspicacitate care constă în îmbinarea unor piese pentru a reconstitui un obiect, o imagine. [pr.: pazl] – cuv. engl. Trimis de ana zecheru, 27.04.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  PUZZLE [pr.: pazl] n. Joc care constă în capacitatea de a îmbina …   Dicționar Român

  • Puzzle — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Un puzzle o puzle puede referirse a: Un rompecabezas, un juego en el que hay que armar una figura. Un crucigrama o juego de palabras cruzadas. Un puzzle compacto es un autodefinido o crucigrama compacto. Un acertijo …   Wikipedia Español

  • puzzle — (del inglés; pronunciamos puzle ) sustantivo masculino 1. Juego que consiste en reconstruir una figura dividida en piezas irregulares planas, combinando éstas después de haberlas desordenado: hacer un puzzle, un puzzle de mil piezas. Sinónimo:… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • puzzle — [puz′əl] vt. puzzled, puzzling [ME * poselen (inferred < pp. poselet), to bewilder, confuse < ?] to perplex; confuse; bewilder; nonplus vi. 1. to be perplexed, etc. 2. to exercise one s mind, as over the solution of a problem n. 1. the… …   English World dictionary

  • Puzzle — Puz zle, v. i. 1. To be bewildered, or perplexed. [1913 Webster] A puzzling fool, that heeds nothing. L Estrange. [1913 Webster] 2. To work, as at a puzzle; as, to puzzle over a problem. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • puzzle — puz zle, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {puzzled} (p[u^]z z ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {puzzling} (p[u^]z zl[i^]ng).] 1. To perplex; to confuse; to embarrass; to put to a stand; to nonplus. [1913 Webster] A very shrewd disputant in those points is dexterous in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Puzzle — Sn (ein aus Einzelteilen zusammenzusetzendes Bild) erw. fach. (20. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. (jigsaw) puzzle, letzteres eigentlich Verwirrung .    Ebenso nndl. puzzel, nfrz. puzzle, nschw. pussel. ✎ Rey Debove/Gagnon (1988), 805f.;… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Puzzle — Puzzle: Die Bezeichnung für das Geduldsspiel, bei dem aus vielen Einzelteilen ein Bild zusammenzusetzen ist, wurde im 20. Jh. aus engl. puzzle »Verwirrung; Rätsel, Geduldsspiel« entlehnt, dessen weitere Herkunft dunkel ist. – Abl.: puzzeln »ein… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • puzzle — puz zle (p[u^]z z l), n. [For opposal, in the sense of problem. See {Oppose}, {Pose}, v.] 1. Something which perplexes or embarrasses; especially, a toy or a problem contrived for testing ingenuity; also, something exhibiting marvelous skill in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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