Definition of bamboozle in English:



[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • 1 Fool or cheat (someone)

    ‘Tom Sawyer bamboozled the neighborhood boys into doing it for him’
    • ‘Passing sentence, Judge Lyon said: ‘You bamboozled elderly people and took delight, I've no doubt, in doing so.’’
    • ‘The slickest of these, like glib lawyers paid to advocate a poor case, are accustomed to bamboozling innocent audiences.’
    • ‘Many people in the Dirtball demographic have a remarkable faith in their ability to bamboozle a judge, and always seem stunned when someone with ten times their brainpower doesn't buy it.’
    • ‘Many proprietors of the bigger, touristy houses try to bamboozle people inside.’
    • ‘American bison are characteristically given to bamboozling other members of their species.’
    • ‘The coaches only have to teach this guy just enough to bamboozle a few judges, but they can't avoid taking pride in their profession.’
    • ‘That's the kind of thing I love to dig into, a classic case of using statistics to bamboozle people.’
    • ‘Children had a great time enticing, cajoling, and bamboozling their parents to shell out money for buying candied shells and cakes.’
    • ‘In other words, they practise seances and use the occult to bamboozle people into believing in ghosts.’
    • ‘My admiration for their skill in bamboozling men is boundless.’
    • ‘This enables the authoritarians to bamboozle the people into thinking they are still free.’
    • ‘Casinos are designed to bamboozle you with the sensory overload created by the flashing lights and jingles and the sound of endless coins tumbling down into a metal tray.’
    • ‘Don't let this week's quick-thinking, speed talking blarney artists bamboozle you into making decisions or doing anything before you're ready.’
    • ‘Rather, they want to bamboozle students with enough false and misleading information to make them think that evolution is bad science.’
    • ‘It's a sneaky trick that bamboozles innocent people who sample the first couple songs in-store into spending 20 dollars.’
    • ‘However, parking garages are getting more and more confusing with their pricing structure, hoping to bamboozle their clients.’
    • ‘Everybody has individual needs, desires and habits, but commercial puffery bamboozles us with brash claims and big numbers.’
    • ‘The result was that a few charismatic, outside-the-box thinkers were able to bamboozle the president into mistaking their roll of the dice for a mature judgment.’
    • ‘There's no rhyme or reason to this approach - it's a clumsy attempt to bamboozle us into thinking that there's more to the movie than meets the eye.’
    • ‘And yet despite the best efforts of America's would-be Ministry of Truthsters to bedazzle and bamboozle the American people, the plain light of reality seems to be shining through.’
    stratagem, ploy, ruse, scheme, device, move, manoeuvre, contrivance, machination, expedient, artifice, wile, dodge
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Confound or perplex.
      ‘bamboozled by the number of savings plans being offered’
      • ‘One slightly annoyed petrol station attendant and very bamboozled customer remained.’
      • ‘Whatever the reason for the surge of interest in childcare issues, there is little doubt that an overload of advice, however well-meant, can bamboozle parents and lead to contradictions.’
      • ‘Some have even given credence to the notion that Wahid's abrupt shifts were really the cunning manoeuvres of a master tactician aimed at bamboozling his opponents.’
      • ‘‘The players were bamboozled as to why they were going so long without a win and losing so many games,’ Allardyce said, reflecting on a demoralising December.’
      • ‘For any female readers bamboozled by my observation, it was like wearing Prada unzipped.’
      • ‘Walk into any showroom and you are bamboozled by the kind of information about the different clothing material that is thrown at you by the salesperson.’
      • ‘Why he's not playing professional rugby bamboozles me.’
      • ‘‘I don't know,’ I replied, which bamboozled him momentarily.’
      • ‘On the other hand, perhaps this surreal verbal tactic was intended to bamboozle our opponents to the extent that we would cuff Germany come Saturday.’
      • ‘We were all bamboozled and didn't know what to say.’
      • ‘A disc in the wrong box completely bamboozled me.’
      • ‘Officials were bamboozled as there was no way of doing an autopsy on the cremated man.’
      • ‘Another reason that I never used a taxi until well into adulthood was that the rules of tipping always bamboozled me.’
      • ‘‘The last thing you want when you are only there for one game is to go and change so many different things that you end up bamboozling the players,’ he said.’
      • ‘It's one of those odd areas of spelling that bamboozles me.’
      • ‘To be honest, I am bamboozled by Bulgarian pizza.’
      • ‘Why Eucalyptus should be chosen for such a massive shot of backing money continues to bamboozle me.’


Early 18th century: of unknown origin.