verb (used with object), baf·fled, baf·fling.
- to confuse, bewilder, or perplex: He was baffled by the technical language of the instructions.
- to frustrate or confound; thwart by creating confusion or bewilderment.
- to check or deflect the movement of (sound, light, fluids, etc.).
- to equip with a baffle or baffles.
- Obsolete. to cheat; trick.
verb (used without object), baf·fled, baf·fling.
- to struggle ineffectually, as a ship in a gale.
- something that balks, checks, or deflects.
- an artificial obstruction for checking or deflecting the flow of gases (as in a boiler), sounds (as in the loudspeaker system of a radio or hi-fi set), light (as in a darkroom), etc.
- any boxlike enclosure or flat panel for mounting a loudspeaker.
- impossible to understand; perplexing; bewildering; puzzling
- to perplex; bewilder; puzzle
- to frustrate (plans, efforts, etc)
- to check, restrain, or regulate (the flow of a fluid or the emission of sound or light)
- to provide with a baffle
- obsolete to cheat or trick
- Also called: baffle board, baffle plate a plate or mechanical device designed to restrain or regulate the flow of a fluid, the emission of light or sound, or the distribution of sound, esp in a loudspeaker or microphone
1783, “bewildering,” present participle adjective from baffle (v.); earlier a sailor’s adjective for winds that blow variously and make headway difficult (c.1770s).
1540s, “to disgrace,” perhaps a Scottish respelling of bauchle “to disgrace publicly” (especially a perjured knight), which is probably related to French bafouer “to abuse, hoodwink” (16c.), possibly from baf, a natural sound of disgust, like bah (cf. German baff machen “to flabbergast”). Meaning “to bewilder, confuse” is from 1640s; that of “to defeat someone’s efforts” is from 1670s. Related: Baffled; baffling.
“shielding device,” 1881, from baffle (v.).