blun·​der | \ ˈblən-dər How to pronounce blunder (audio) \
blundered; blundering\ ˈblən-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce blunder (audio) \

Definition of blunder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to move unsteadily or confusedly In their exhaustion they often blundered against each other …— Norman Mailer
2 : to make a mistake through stupidity, ignorance, or carelessness blundered by not acting sooner

transitive verb

1 : to utter stupidly, confusedly, or thoughtlessly blundered an apology
2 : to make a stupid, careless, or thoughtless mistake in blundering matters through ignorance …— Rafael Sabatini



Definition of blunder (Entry 2 of 2)

: a gross error or mistake resulting usually from stupidity, ignorance, or carelessness a costly tactical blunder

Other Words from blunder


blunderer \ ˈblən-​dər-​ər How to pronounce blunder (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for blunder


error, mistake, blunder, slip, lapse mean a departure from what is true, right, or proper. error suggests the existence of a standard or guide and a straying from the right course through failure to make effective use of this. procedural errors mistake implies misconception or inadvertence and usually expresses less criticism than error. dialed the wrong number by mistake blunder regularly imputes stupidity or ignorance as a cause and connotes some degree of blame. diplomatic blunders slip stresses inadvertence or accident and applies especially to trivial but embarrassing mistakes. a slip of the tongue lapse stresses forgetfulness, weakness, or inattention as a cause. a lapse in judgment

Examples of blunder in a Sentence

Verb We blundered along through the woods until we finally found the trail. Another skier blundered into his path. The government blundered by not acting sooner. Noun The accident was the result of a series of blunders. fixed a minor blunder in the advertising flyer
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And in some of the criticism there was a sense Republicans were playing into the conservative media trope that Biden is old, is not in full control and could blunder the US into a war. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 28 Mar. 2022 Special teams blunder aside, Kevin Stefanski and the Browns offense squandered two potential go-ahead opportunities. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, 13 Sep. 2021 But what dollar hawks didn't calculate was that the U.S. would jump out to such a huge lead in vaccinating Americans, while its biggest trading partners in Asia and the eurozone would blunder along. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 5 May 2021 The soil is full of pathogenic fungi just waiting for a nice juicy fire ant to blunder into them. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, 21 Nov. 2020 The only points for Leach and Mississippi State during the 24-2 loss to Kentucky came on a Wildcats special teams blunder that resulted in a safety. Matt Zenitz |, al, 13 Oct. 2020 Ant death spirals break only when enough workers accidentally blunder away, creating trails that lead the spiraling workers to safety. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 9 Sep. 2020 Yearling black bears blunder over the asphalt in search of their own territories. Ben Goldfarb, The Atlantic, 6 July 2020 Some pointed to other calls Goldman strategists blundered in the past, while others said Wall Street banks were too slow to catch onto the trend. Vildana Hajric,, 27 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The blunder was detected by the hospital during an investigation into how a further 400 people swabbed on December 22 and 23 received a negative result despite being positive for Covid-19. Helen Regan, CNN, 27 Dec. 2021 The blunder was traced to a glitch in the Napa County warning system, but not before causing widespread confusion. Nora Mishanec,, 1 Oct. 2020 Ford, the Chiefs’ first-round pick in 2014, has seen his career go downhill because of injuries since committing an infamous blunder in the AFC Championship game. Ben Volin,, 18 June 2022 And as Oscar gaffes go, it was completely eclipsed three years later when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented best picture to the wrong film – the most mind-boggling blunder in awards show history. Paul Grein, Billboard, 11 Mar. 2022 In a recent interview with Kara Swisher, former Disney CEO Bob Iger discussed the company’s former practice of licensing Disney movies to Netflix, comparing that strategy to a catastrophic foreign policy blunder. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 8 Feb. 2022 Nonprofits are also guilty of this social media blunder. Scott Miller, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Despite Israel’s support for Trump’s withdrawal, prominent voices in the country have said in retrospect that the move was a blunder. Josef Federman, ajc, 20 Feb. 2022 Experts say the expansion will be evidence of yet another strategic blunder on Russia's part. Byguy Davies Andines De La Cuetara, ABC News, 12 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of blunder


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1681, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for blunder


Middle English blundren, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse blunda to shut one's eyes, doze, Norwegian dialect blundra


noun derivative of blunder entry 1

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Cite this Entry

“Blunder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for blunder


blun·​der | \ ˈblən-dər How to pronounce blunder (audio) \
blundered; blundering

Kids Definition of blunder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move in a clumsy way
2 : to make a mistake



Kids Definition of blunder (Entry 2 of 2)

: a bad or stupid mistake

More from Merriam-Webster on blunder

Nglish: Translation of blunder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blunder for Arabic Speakers


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