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

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 Adding a novel tariff blunderbuss is not likely to make the situation better. Timothy Fitzgerald, National Review, 22 Apr. 2021 This would turn antitrust law into a blunderbuss aimed by failing competitors against companies that do a better job of serving consumers. Robert H. Bork, National Review, 11 June 2021 Most of the fun lies in appreciating the blunderbuss incompetence of the team, whose errors result in innocent people’s heads getting sliced in two or their viscera getting exploded all over the scenery. Kyle Smith, National Review, 4 Aug. 2021 Handicapping off-year congressional elections nearly 400 days in advance has proven about as accurate as an eighteenth-century blunderbuss. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 22 Oct. 2021 His blunderbuss diplomacy and a startling proposal to invite Taliban leaders to Camp David unnerved even some of his own advisers. Susan Page, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2021 Newsom’s strategy is an unimaginative blunderbuss approach — raising ungodly amounts of cash from billionaires and special interests, and bludgeoning recall proponents as dangerous insurrectionist tools of former President Donald Trump. Rich Lowry, National Review, 27 Aug. 2021 Past negotiations were just a bunch of negotiators around the table, but now all of the parties have a blunderbuss pointed at their own foot. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 24 Apr. 2021 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, 1 July 2019 See More

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.

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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The first known use of blunderbuss was in 1654

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Cite this Entry

“Blunderbuss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for blunderbuss


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

More from Merriam-Webster on blunderbuss

Nglish: Translation of blunderbuss for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about blunderbuss


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