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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Performing slightly effeminate blundering outrage — not playing gay, exactly, but not not gay either — Lynde set a pattern. James Hibberd, EW.com, "The mad, sad, totally fab life of Paul Lynde," 19 May 2020 Every day is a new fragment of an endless blundering present, and tomorrow will be both different and the same. David Roth, The New Republic, "Trump Finds His Own Dumb Endless War," 16 Apr. 2020 And the coup de grâce: The dispute was largely over whether the de Blasio administration blundered by bypassing Mother Cabrini, the patron saint of immigrants and a paragon to many Italian-Americans, with a statue. Jeffery C. Mays, New York Times, "Actor Charged Racism Over Statue. N.Y. Politics Took It From There.," 11 Oct. 2019 Unlike the country’s first testing crisis, which was defined by a needless struggle between federal agencies and a pattern of blundering from the White House, fault for the new testing problem resides largely in the private sector. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "Private Labs Are Fueling a New Coronavirus Testing Crisis," 31 Mar. 2020 Yet Goodell insists on blundering on, as though nothing is more important than getting the NFL Draft on television. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus be damned, Roger Goodell says the NFL Draft must go on," 30 Mar. 2020 Here is a headstrong 78-year-old billionaire known to blunder at times under even gentle media questioning. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, "Michael Bloomberg Has to Debate Without a Net," 11 Mar. 2020 Rather, there’s a shared feeling of blundering misery. Merve Emre, The New York Review of Books, "Private Parts of Speech," 10 Mar. 2020 Directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash—who, with Jesse Armstrong, also wrote the screenplay, ostensibly using Östland’s story as inspiration—approach the basic plot with blundering obviousness. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Downhill Is an Uphill Slog That Doesn't Justify Its Remake of the Darker, Subtler Force Majeure," 14 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Julien Codorniou, vice president of Facebook's Workplace unit, acknowledged that his company's many past privacy blunders had initially hurt its effort to sell to corporations. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Facebook Workplace just hit a big milestone," 21 May 2020 Reporting on North Korea, too, has been strewn with blunders. Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "Where Is Kim Jong-un? How Experts Track North Korea’s Leader," 26 Apr. 2020 While there are important lessons to be learned from the federal government’s successes in public housing, there were also blunders that serve as warnings. Jill Watts, Time, "As Coronavirus Magnifies America’s Housing Crisis, FDR's New Deal Could Offer a Roadmap Forward," 24 Apr. 2020 News broadcasts highlighted the bloopers and blunders of the replacements. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "25 years ago this week, we saw baseball return from historic monthslong strike," 23 Apr. 2020 These are the times that can produce life-changing investment blunders as well as unique opportunities. Burton G. Malkiel, WSJ, "It’s a Good Time to ‘Stock’ Up," 7 Apr. 2020 Even institutions that are supposedly apolitical, from the World Health Organization to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making gaffes, misjudgments and blunders. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, "Mitch Albom: In coronavirus crisis, our humanity saves us," 5 Apr. 2020 Americans are getting sick, losing their jobs, and even dying, thanks in part to Trump’s early blunders—and yet his popularity has been on the rise. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "The (Political) Science Behind Trump's Approval Bump," 2 Apr. 2020 Still, with the credibility of the officials increasingly under attack with each high-profile blunder – and by extension the credibility of the results of the games – the accountability question is valid. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "NFL says referees are 'held accountable' after criticism from Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians," 2 Nov. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for blunder

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for blunder

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Blunder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blunder. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for blunder

blunder

verb
How to pronounce blunder (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on blunder

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blunder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blunder

Spanish Central: Translation of blunder

Nglish: Translation of blunder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blunder for Arabic Speakers

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