blun·​der·​buss | \ ˈblən-dər-ˌbəs How to pronounce blunderbuss (audio) \

Definition of blunderbuss

1 : a muzzle-loading firearm with a short barrel and flaring muzzle to facilitate loading
2 : a blundering person

Illustration of blunderbuss

Illustration of blunderbuss

blunderbuss 1

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Examples of blunderbuss in a Sentence

leave it to that blunderbuss to bungle a job that a child could do
Recent Examples on the Web The orderliness of the Armenian Revolution doesn’t fit the berets-and-blunderbusses image of what a revolution is supposed to look like. Tom Ball, The New Republic, "How to Stage a Successful Revolution," 1 July 2019 What these stories didn’t mention is that today, seven months before Iowa, polls are about as accurate as a blunderbuss, and most pollsters know it. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "The Polling Industry Is in Crisis," 21 June 2019 The President's immigration enforcement can be blunderbuss and heavy-handed. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Chief Justice and the President," 27 Dec. 2018 It had been fired out of a gravitational gun barrel by a cosmic blunderbuss, a supermassive black hole. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "It Came From a Black Hole, and Landed in Antarctica," 12 July 2018 The Senate this week will debate a bipartisan bill that would relax some of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law’s blunderbuss regulations. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Warren Democrats for Wall Street," 5 Mar. 2018 Over the past two and a half years, Trump blasted away at the lazy conventional wisdom on immigration with a blunderbuss; getting something to show for it legislatively will now require some deftness and guile. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Durbin-Graham Is the Problem, Not the Solution," 26 Jan. 2018 The Nevada State Museum, just a few blocks from the capitol in Carson City, has an extensive firearms collection on display, everything from blunderbusses to Gatling guns. Christopher Palmeri,, "Gun-Culture Tourism Thrives in Las Vegas," 4 Oct. 2017 There were Nazis on the moon, time-traveling blunderbusses, Mandingoes, and for the love of John Carter, a vampire throwing a horse at Abraham Lincoln. Ruth Suehle, WIRED, "Can 2013 Beat The Amazing Year of Movies That Was 2012?," 4 Jan. 2013

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blunderbuss.' 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 blunderbuss

1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for blunderbuss

by folk etymology from obsolete Dutch donderbus, from Dutch donder thunder + obsolete Dutch bus gun

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Time Traveler for blunderbuss

Time Traveler

The first known use of blunderbuss was in 1654

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Statistics for blunderbuss

Cite this Entry

“Blunderbuss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for blunderbuss



English Language Learners Definition of blunderbuss

: an old-fashioned kind of gun with a wide opening at the end


blun·​der·​buss | \ ˈblən-dər-ˌbəs How to pronounce blunderbuss (audio) \

Kids Definition of blunderbuss

: a short gun that has a barrel which is larger at the end and that was used long ago for shooting at close range without taking exact aim

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