- the state or condition of being puzzled; perplexity
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
- the state of being puzzled;
- something puzzling.
- puzzle + -ment 1815–25
- a toy, problem, or other game designed to amuse by presenting difficulties to be solved by clever thinking or patient effort:a jigsaw puzzle.
- [usually singular] a question, matter, or person that is difficult to understand, figure out, or explain.
- to confuse;
mystify:[~ + object]My symptoms puzzled the doctor.
- [no object] to think over some confusing or perplexing problem or matter.
- puzzle out, [~ + out + object] to solve by careful study or effort:trying to puzzle out a solution.
puz•zler, n. [countable]
- a toy, problem, or other contrivance designed to amuse by presenting difficulties to be solved by ingenuity or patient effort.
- something puzzling;
a puzzling question, matter, or person.
- a puzzled or perplexed condition;
- a crossword puzzle:Did you do the puzzle in the newspaper today?
- a jigsaw puzzle.
- to put (someone) at a loss;
baffle:Her attitude puzzles me.
- to frustrate or confound, as the understanding;
perplex:The problem puzzled him for weeks.
- to exercise (oneself, one's brain, etc.) over some problem or matter.
- [Archaic.]to make intricate or complicated.
- to be perplexed or confused.
- to ponder or study over some perplexing problem or matter.
- puzzle out, to solve by careful study or effort:I was unable to puzzle out the message.
- 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.