WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
puz•zle /ˈpʌzəl/USA pronunciation   n., v.,  -zled, -zling. 
n. [countable]
  1. a toy, problem, or other game designed to amuse by presenting difficulties to be solved by clever thinking or patient effort:a jigsaw puzzle.
  2. [usually singular] a question, matter, or person that is difficult to understand, figure out, or explain.

  1. to confuse;
    mystify:[+ object]My symptoms puzzled the doctor.
  2. [no object] to think over some confusing or perplexing problem or matter.
  3. puzzle out, [+ out + object] to solve by careful study or effort:trying to puzzle out a solution.
puz•zle•ment, n. [uncountable]a look of sheer puzzlement on his face.
puz•zler, n. [countable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
puz•zle  (puzəl),USA pronunciation n., v.,  -zled, -zling. 
  1. a toy, problem, or other contrivance designed to amuse by presenting difficulties to be solved by ingenuity or patient effort.
  2. something puzzling;
    a puzzling question, matter, or person.
  3. a puzzled or perplexed condition;
  4. a crossword puzzle:Did you do the puzzle in the newspaper today?
  5. a jigsaw puzzle.

  1. to put (someone) at a loss;
    baffle:Her attitude puzzles me.
  2. to frustrate or confound, as the understanding;
    perplex:The problem puzzled him for weeks.
  3. to exercise (oneself, one's brain, etc.) over some problem or matter.
  4. [Archaic.]to make intricate or complicated.

  1. to be perplexed or confused.
  2. to ponder or study over some perplexing problem or matter.
  3. puzzle out, to solve by careful study or effort:I was unable to puzzle out the message.
puzzled•ly, adv. 
puzzled•ness, n. 
  • origin, originally uncertain 1585–95
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Puzzle, riddle, enigma refer to something baffling or confusing that is to be solved. A
      puzzle is a question or problem, intricate enough to be perplexing to the mind;
      it is sometimes a contrivance made purposely perplexing to test one's ingenuity:a crossword puzzle; The reason for their behavior remains a puzzle.A
      riddle is an intentionally obscure statement or question, the meaning of or answer to which is to be arrived at only by guessing:the famous riddle of the Sphinx.Enigma, originally meaning riddle, now refers to some baffling problem with connotations of mysteriousness:He will always be an enigma to me.
    • 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged confound.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

puzzle /ˈpʌzəl/ vb
  1. to perplex or be perplexed
  2. (intransitive) followed by over: to attempt the solution (of); ponder (about): he puzzled over her absence
  3. (transitive) usually followed by out: to solve by mental effort: he puzzled out the meaning of the inscription
  1. a person or thing that puzzles
  2. a problem that cannot be easily or readily solved
  3. the state or condition of being puzzled
  4. a toy, game, or question presenting a problem that requires skill or ingenuity for its solution
Etymology: 16th Century: of unknown origin

ˈpuzzling adj

'puzzle' also found in these entries:

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