1. Something, such as a game, toy, or problem, that requires ingenuity and often persistence in solving or assembling.
2. Something that baffles or confuses; an enigma: the puzzle of the author's true identity.
3. The condition of being perplexed; bewilderment: I'm really in a puzzle over how this happened.
v. puz·zled, puz·zling, puz·zles
1. To baffle or confuse mentally by presenting or being a difficult problem or matter. See Synonyms at perplex.
2. To clarify or solve (something confusing) by reasoning or study: He puzzled out the significance of the statement.
1. To be perplexed.
2. To ponder over a problem in an effort to solve or understand it.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.