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blus·​ter ˈblə-stər How to pronounce bluster (audio)
blustered; blustering ˈblə-st(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce bluster (audio)

intransitive verb

: to talk or act with noisy swaggering threats
brags and blusters but rarely does what he says he'll do
: to blow in stormy noisy gusts
a cold, blustering wind
: to be windy and boisterous
… when autumn blusters and the orchard rocks.Robert Browning

transitive verb

: to utter with noisy self-assertiveness
"I don't want to hear it!" he blustered.
: to drive or force by blustering
… trying to bluster us into the belief that they are much better than they look.F. A. Swinnerton
blusterer noun


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: a violent boisterous blowing
… the strong breeze driving them was setting up a bluster on the water.Rose Thurburn
: violent commotion
They do their work without bluster or ostentation.Stanley Walker
: loudly boastful or threatening speech
growing tired of his macho bluster
blusterous adjective
blustery adjective

Examples of bluster in a Sentence

Verb He brags and blusters, but he never really does what he says he'll do. “I don't want to hear it!” he blustered. The wind blustered through the valley. Noun We were all tired of his macho bluster. all the bluster in the campaign speech was intended to hide a lack of specifics
Recent Examples on the Web
Our windiest day of autumn blew and blustered across the Washington area on Saturday, with powerful gusts attaining hold-onto-your-hat speeds, reaching into the 40 mph range. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2023 Trump could bluster his way through such one-sided fights and declare victory when none existed. Philip Elliott, TIME, 4 Oct. 2023 Trump’s supporters are choosing to stand behind him because of his blustering personality and style. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 18 Sep. 2023 Justin Theroux played a brusque, blustering Mr. Wulf, much to his annoyance. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 18 July 2023 Other employers, notably the Hollywood moguls trying to bluster their way through a strike by actors and writers and the management of fierce anti-union companies such as Starbucks, are well advised to pay attention. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2023 The blustering support for the billionaire dominated a Thursday House Judiciary Committee hearing overseeing the agency’s work under Khan’s leadership. Makena Kelly, The Verge, 14 July 2023 The tone is set by Arquette herself, who blusters and grand- stands in a performance bound to polarize. Alison Herman, Variety, 17 May 2023 For nearly three years now, I’ve been fascinated by the performance art of this blustering pettifogger. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2023
Payors play hardball with hospitals and drop systems who refuse to negotiate Normally, after much bluster, hospitals win payor negotiations since payors are unwilling to drop hospitals from their networks. Bob Kocher, Fortune, 14 Nov. 2023 For all of his bluster, Knight saw himself in simple terms. Mike Kupper, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 The Claimant, by contrast with Bogle, is all empty bluster. Lynn Steger Strong, The New Republic, 15 Sep. 2023 Conservative backlash is 'bluster,' diversity advocate says In the fight to level opportunities for underrepresented groups, the stakes are high, according to Shijuade Kadree, director of tech equity and the tech accountability coalition at the Aspen Institute. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2023 If Trump were to win next year, these rulings would surely be reversed, despite his pro-worker bluster. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 26 Sep. 2023 These may be the twilight months of Israel’s longest-serving leader, then, a feeble coda to two decades’ worth of power and bluster and ego. Ruth Margalit, New York Times, 27 Sep. 2023 Johnson, to give him his due, brought his customary, shallow bluster. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 21 Sep. 2023 Endless Republican news conferences at the border and threats to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, were dismissed as political bluster. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bluster.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

Middle English blustren, probably from Middle Low German blüsteren

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bluster was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near bluster

Cite this Entry

“Bluster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
blus·​ter ˈbləs-tər How to pronounce bluster (audio)
blustered; blustering -t(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce bluster (audio)
: to blow violently and noisily
: to talk or act in a noisy boastful way
blusterer noun


2 of 2 noun
: a violent noise or commotion
: loudly boastful or threatening speech
blustery adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on bluster

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