From Middle English mase, from an aphetic variant of Middle English masen (“to perplex, bewilder”); or perhaps from Old English *mæs (“delusion, bewilderment”); akin to Old English āmasian (“to perplex, confound”), Icelandic masa (“to chatter”). More at amaze.
maze (plural mazes)
- A labyrinth; a puzzle consisting of a complicated network of paths or passages, the aim of which is to find one's way.
2012 May 30, Hayley Spurway, “Top 10 family days out in south Devon”, the Guardian:
- There's plenty for toddlers too: experience the Wild West in Bear City, play with sand diggers, splash in the paddling pool and discover meerkats, reptiles and alpacas in the Zoo-Farm. Rain doesn't stop play, just head for the indoor fun factory with a rocking and rolling tugboat, mirror maze, ferris wheel and soft play.
- Something made up of many confused or conflicting elements; a tangle.
2009, “Nation's largest desal project faces financing hurdles”, New York Times:
- The project developer, Poseidon Resources Corp., has been winding its way through a maze of state and local agencies for six years
- Confusion of thought; perplexity; uncertainty; state of bewilderment.
1580, John Lyly, “Euphues and His England”, in The Complete Works of John Lyly, published 1906, page 36:
- But first they came to Canterbury, an olde Citie, somewhat decayed, yet beautiful to behold, most famous for a Cathedrall Church, the very Maiestie whereoff, stroke them into a maze, where they saw many monuments, and heard tell of greater, then either they euer saw, or easely would beleeue.
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- to amaze, astonish, bewilder
- (Can we find and add a quotation of South to this entry?)
- to daze, stupefy, or confuse
- A wild fancy; a confused notion.