baffle

Definitions

General English

Aviation

Cars & Driving

  • noun a usually transverse steel plate reducing the flow or motion of gases or liquids, e.g. in a silencer, in the sump of an engine or in a fuel tank

Computing

  • noun a loudspeaker which is built into a unit

Construction

  • A tray or partition employed on conveying equipment to direct or change the direction of flow.
  • An opaque or translucent plate-like protective shield used against direct observation of a light source; a light baffle.
  • A plate-like device for reducing sound transmission.
  • Any construction intended to change the direction of flow of a liquid.

Electronics

  • A partition in a speaker enclosure which is used to reduce or eliminate the interaction between the acoustic waves generated by the front of the speaker and those from the back. This is especially important in low frequency sound reproduction.
  • The panel on which one or more speakers are mounted.
  • A panel utilized to inhibit the propagation of sound waves. Used, for instance in theaters as part of a sophisticated sound reproduction system.

Origin & History of “baffle”

The etymology of baffle is appropriately baffling. Two main candidates have been proposed as a source. The first is the medieval Scots verb bawchill or bauchle, meaning ‘discredit publicly’. this fits in with the way baffle was first used: ‘I will baffull your good name, sound with the trumpet your dishonour, and paint your pictor with the heeles vpward, and beate it in despight of yourselfe’, Churchyardes chippes 1570. The other strand is represented by French bafouer ‘hoodwink, deceive’, which perhaps comes from Old French beffer. This corresponds more closely to the present-day meaning of baffle, and it may well be that there are two distinct words here.
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