blunder

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

blunder

noun

Definition of blunder (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from blunder

Verb

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

Choose the Right Synonym for blunder

Noun

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Like Trump before him, Biden just might blunder his way into the general election in spite of himself. Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review, "Do Joe Biden’s Gaffes Still Matter in the Age of Trump?," 13 Aug. 2019 Together, the trends cast a harsh light on safety procedures and blundering responses to some incidents involving tourists, even in cases where the victims seem to have died from natural causes. New York Times, "Crisis Hits Dominican Republic Over Deaths of U.S. Tourists," 23 June 2019 But without democracy, a succession of Hong Kong governments have blundered into political crises by underestimating or ignoring the public’s concerns — and each time, Beijing gets some of the blame. Keith Bradsher, BostonGlobe.com, "How Hong Kong’s leader makes the biggest political retreat by China under Xi," 15 June 2019 But without democracy, a succession of Hong Kong governments have blundered into political crises by underestimating or ignoring the public’s concerns — and each time, Beijing gets some of the blame. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "How Hong Kong’s Leader Made the Biggest Political Retreat by China Under Xi," 15 June 2019 When not blundering on solutions, American leadership continues to ignore the crisis. Zach Schermele, Teen Vogue, "Over the Last Decade, Wages Have Stayed the Same While the Cost of College Has Skyrocketed," 11 June 2019 But that feature could save you from blundering into a speed trap. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Why the New Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 Is the Most Futuristic (Gas-Powered) Car on the Road," 21 Dec. 2018 Many thought the program had been unfairly seized upon as a distraction by conservative opponents of gun control, who preferred to focus on blundering by the district and the sheriff’s office. David Fleshler, Washington Post, "Parents in Parkland, Fla., want more transparency from school officials," 13 May 2018 Mr Grayling’s loyalty to the prime minister and to the Brexit cause mean he may be allowed to blunder on. The Economist, "British railways are reduced to chaos by a botched timetable change," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The entire meeting erupted in laughter at Grundmann's blunder. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, ""We're a totally peaceful racist group," Straight Pride organizer tells California city council meeting," 9 Aug. 2019 Gaffes and blunders that would sink most politicians seem to simply roll off Johnson. Christina Boyle, Los Angeles Times, "Boris Johnson, one of Britain’s most eccentric politicians, on track to be next prime minister," 22 July 2019 But, as with an unshameable wind sock of a politician whose lies and blunders do nothing to unseat them, this is by no means Loudermilk’s undoing. Hermione Hoby, The New Yorker, "What Does It Mean to Be a “Real” Writer?," 3 July 2019 That Gabbard – who has questionable foreign ties to Syria and Russia herself – was the one to seize the moment on Ryan’s blunder only made Ryan look worse. cleveland.com, "Tim Ryan’s coveted moment eludes him at first Democratic debate: analysis," 26 June 2019 But Johnson’s outing Saturday, despite the bullpen’s blunder, had a different tune to it. Julian Mcwilliams, BostonGlobe.com, "Bullpen can’t hold on to Brian Johnson’s start," 23 June 2019 The Cardinals wouldn’t get anything else going the rest of the inning after the base running blunder. Wayne Mcgahee Iii, The Courier-Journal, "Watch the controversial call that hurt Louisville baseball in its eighth inning rally," 20 June 2019 City officials are investigating how the workers still managed to hit a line, a blunder that forced most of the city to shut down Thursday and left thousands of people without water. David Fleshler, sun-sentinel.com, "Fort Lauderdale water crisis could have been averted," 20 July 2019 Surely such blunders can be committed only by naive individual investors mashing away on phones or laptops. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "The Only Thing the Smart Money Is Smart About," 12 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of blunder

Verb

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

Noun

1681, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for blunder

Verb

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

Noun

noun derivative of blunder entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about blunder

Dictionary Entries near blunder

Blum

blume

Blumea

blunder

blunderbush

blunderbuss

blunderhead

Statistics for blunder

Last Updated

18 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blunder

The first known use of blunder was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for blunder

blunder

verb

English Language Learners Definition of blunder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move in an awkward or confused way
: to make a stupid or careless mistake

blunder

noun

English Language Learners Definition of blunder (Entry 2 of 2)

: a bad mistake made because of stupidity or carelessness

blunder

verb
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

blunder

noun

Kids Definition of blunder (Entry 2 of 2)

: a bad or stupid mistake

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on blunder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blunder

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blunder

Spanish Central: Translation of blunder

Nglish: Translation of blunder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blunder for Arabic Speakers

Comments on blunder

What made you want to look up blunder? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!