To fuddle is to make disoriented or confused, especially with liquor. It used to mean to be drunk, and one could be a fuddler if one drank a lot. Today the term is used rarely and usually with a full knowledge the term is outdated.

To befuddle someone is to confuse or stupefy, as if he or she were drunk. It is mush more common than fuddle. It makes the noun befuddlement.

A person or object can be a befuddler.


Corporate America is currently caught up in a torrid infatuation with millennials, who befuddle and torment the companies who want their dollars. [New England Public Radio]

From quarterback Bryce Wolfe to running back Dillion Fuller to pass catchers like Jake Torrie and Colten Williams, expect plenty of trickery and outside-the-box execution as East Noble attempts to befuddle the Northridge defense. [News Sentinel]

“It befuddles me what they want” for the Ebola czar job, Gottlieb said. [Reuters]

When Houston Police Department officials this week invoked the city’s defunct red light cameras while arguing that it must ramp up hiring, some City Hall observers were a bit befuddled. [Houston Chronicle]

Running their befuddling and deceptive double-wing offense, the Spartans (3-7) pounded 44 yards in eight plays to take the lead for good. [The Dispatch]

And don’t forget about the world-famous befuddler at Connors Farm in Danvers (nicknamed the “911 maze” because of a notorious emergency call made in 2011, when a family literally got lost inside). [Boston Globe]

After one character is killed, the actress returns seconds later in another costume for a different role, and at least one character looks at her in befuddlement. [Quad City Times]

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