English Edit

Etymology Edit

From be- +‎ fog.

Pronunciation Edit

Verb Edit

befog (third-person singular simple present befogs, present participle befogging, simple past and past participle befogged)

  1. To envelop in fog or smoke.
    • 1916, E. F. Benson, “The Spiritual Pastor”, in The Freaks of Mayfair[1], London: T.N. Foulis, page 186:
      Clouds of the most expensive incense befog the chancel []
    • 1953, Jean Stafford, “Cops and Robbers” (original title: “The Shorn Lamb”) in The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford, New York: Dutton, 1984, p. 432,
      Sad, in her covert, Hannah saw that her mother was now sitting straight against the headboard and was smoking a cigarette in long, meditative puffs; the smoke befogged her frowning forehead.
  2. To confuse, mystify (a person); to make less acute or perceptive, to cloud (a person’s faculties).
    • 1871, Carl Schurz, Speech in the U.S. Senate, 27 January, 1871, in Frederic Bancroft (ed.), Speeches, Correspondence and Political Papers of Carl Schurz, New York: Putnam, 1913, Volume II, p. 151,[2]
      The voice of interested sycophancy is apt to fill their ears and to befog their judgment.
    • 1921, Harold MacGrath, chapter 14, in The Pagan Madonna[3], Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page, page 177:
      [] He’s been blarneying you. You’ve let his plausible tongue and handsome face befog you.”
    • 1938, Rabindranath Tagore, “Worshippers of Buddha”, in The Visva-Bharati Quarterly[4], Volume 4, Part 1, May-July 1938, p. 28:
      [] they pray that they may befog minds with untruths
      and poison God’s sweet air of breath,
    • 1981, Ramsey Campbell, chapter 8, in The Nameless[5], New York: Tor, published 1985, page 75:
      Everything looked gray and shabby, the faces as much as the clothes. She thought it was less the shade than the noise which was befogging her vision, choking her thoughts.
  3. To obscure, make less clear (a subject, issue, etc.).
    • 1880, [Henry Brooks Adams], chapter V, in Democracy: An American Novel (Leisure-hour Series; no. 112), New York, N.Y.: Henry Holt and Company, →OCLC, page 84:
      How they had managed to befog the subject! What elaborate show-structures they had built up, with no result but to obscure the horizon!
    • 1918, John H. Stokes, chapter 2, in The Third Great Plague: A Discussion of Syphilis for Everyday People[6], Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, pages 15–16:
      There is only one way to understand syphilis, and that is to give it impartial, discriminating discussion as an issue which concerns the general health. To color it up and hang it in a gallery of horrors, or to befog it with verbal turnings and twistings, are equally serious mistakes.

References Edit

Hungarian Edit

Etymology Edit

be- +‎ fog

Pronunciation Edit

  • IPA(key): [ˈbɛfoɡ]
  • Hyphenation: be‧fog
  • Rhymes: -oɡ

Verb Edit


  1. (transitive, of ears, mouth, eyes) to cover
  2. (transitive, of a draught animal) to harness (to attach a draught animal to a carriage)
  3. (transitive, of a person) to make someone work
  4. (transitive) to clamp (to grip tightly in a vice)

Conjugation Edit

Derived terms Edit


Further reading Edit

  • befog in Bárczi, Géza and László Országh. A magyar nyelv értelmező szótára (‘The Explanatory Dictionary of the Hungarian Language’, abbr.: ÉrtSz.). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1959–1962. Fifth ed., 1992: →ISBN
  • befog in Ittzés, Nóra (ed.). A magyar nyelv nagyszótára (‘A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Hungarian Language’). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2006–2031 (work in progress; published A–ez as of 2023)