1680s, from be- "thoroughly" + archaic wilder "lead astray, lure into the wilds," probably a back-formation of wilderness. An earlier word with the same sense was bewhape (early 14c.). Related: Bewildered; bewildering; bewilderingly.
1. Again and again passages in his essays exasperate or bewilder.
2. So many questions bewilder me.
3. The letter would only bewilder the mother.
4. I wish to dazzle - to bewilder - to inflame her senses.