noun, often attributive
block·bust·er | \ˈbläk-ˌbə-stər \

Definition of blockbuster 

1 : a very large high-explosive bomb

2 : one that is notably expensive, effective, successful, large, or extravagant

3 : one who engages in blockbusting

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Synonyms & Antonyms for blockbuster


hit, megahit, smash, success, winner


bomb, bummer, bust, catastrophe, clinker, debacle (also débâcle), dud, failure, fiasco, flop, misfire, turkey, washout

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Examples of blockbuster in a Sentence

a 900-page blockbuster of a novel the movie is expected to be the biggest blockbuster of the summer

Recent Examples on the Web

Amgen will charge a lower-than-expected $6,900 a year for a novel migraine treatment that investors hope will become the biotechnology giant's next blockbuster. Bloomberg News,, "FDA approves drug for chronic migraines -- and it'll cost $6,900 a year," 20 May 2018 The storm had apparently passed, and Biogen was sitting on a blockbuster in the making with the multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera, approved in 2013 and soon to compete what was the most lucrative product launch in drug industry history. Damian Garde, STAT, "As Biogen turns 40, biotech worries the glory days may be over," 2 May 2018 Even though James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty doesn’t officially release until April 17, his memoir is already spring’s biggest blockbuster. Andy Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter, "James Comey's 'A Higher Loyalty': Book Review," 16 Apr. 2018 That was a Week 6 blockbuster — Carroll was staked to a 17-point lead late in the first half. Stephen English, star-telegram, "UIL realignment hit high school football like a hurricane," 2 Feb. 2018 The ending of The Final Year bears a resemblance to a recent blockbuster: The Last Jedi. Christian Lorentzen, New Republic, "The World Obama Tried to Make," 18 Jan. 2018 Gagosian’s San Francisco outlet, the newest and among the smallest of 16 worldwide, isn’t sent the blockbuster shows that make news in New York and elsewhere. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Gagosian Gallery trains its lens on photography," 2 May 2018 Your move, Hollywood: women showed up for this summer blockbuster. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Ocean's 8 Is Officially No. 1 at the North American Box Office—Thanks Largely to Women," 10 June 2018 Hollywood executives have long had their sights set on China as the next big outlet for blockbusters. Hallie Detrick, Fortune, "Hollywood Is Having Trouble in China—But Not for the Reason You'd Think," 28 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of blockbuster

1942, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for blockbuster

The first known use of blockbuster was in 1942

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English Language Learners Definition of blockbuster

: something that is very large, expensive, or successful

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