block·​bust·​er ˈbläk-ˌbə-stər How to pronounce blockbuster (audio)
often attributive
: a very large high-explosive bomb
: one that is notably expensive, effective, successful, large, or extravagant
: one who engages in blockbusting

Example Sentences

a 900-page blockbuster of a novel the movie is expected to be the biggest blockbuster of the summer
Recent Examples on the Web Tuesday’s 2023 Oscar nominations are a key test of whether awards voters are truly ready to crown a blockbuster rather than the sort of specialty title that has come to dominate Hollywood’s favorite annual battle. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2023 But the bottom line is…The Last of Us is a blockbuster for HBO. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 24 Jan. 2023 The game was an immediate blockbuster, earning eleven million dollars in three days. Simon Parkin, The New Yorker, 17 Jan. 2023 But more importantly, Huerta embraced the opportunity to represent people who look like him in a major Hollywood blockbuster. Carole Horst, Variety, 12 Jan. 2023 Trading for running back Christian McCaffrey in October was a blockbuster. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Jan. 2023 The drug has the potential to be a commercial blockbuster, but only if Medicare can be convinced to pay for it. Adam Feuerstein Reprints, STAT, 6 Jan. 2023 Only now, in this moment in Hollywood, would an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s award-winning novel White Noise by the indie darling Noah Baumbach be funded like a blockbuster. David Sims, The Atlantic, 31 Dec. 2022 Even a college lecture of this kind has to be a blockbuster, the movie tells us; this is the world these people are in, brash and vibrant, supersized, where everything is an Event. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 30 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blockbuster.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1942, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of blockbuster was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near blockbuster

Cite this Entry

“Blockbuster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


block·​bust·​er ˈbläk-ˌbəs-tər How to pronounce blockbuster (audio)
: one that is very large, successful, or violent
a blockbuster of a movie

More from Merriam-Webster on blockbuster

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