Definition of boomerang
1 : a bent or angular throwing club typically flat on one side and rounded on the other so that it soars or curves in flight; especially : one designed to return near the thrower
2 : an act or utterance that backfires on its originator
Recent Examples of boomerang from the Web
Call it the harbinger of a giant outsourcing boomerang.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'boomerang'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of boomerang
Dharuk (Australian aboriginal language of the Port Jackson area) bumarinʸ
First Known Use: 1824See Words from the same year
BOOMERANG Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of boomerang for English Language Learners
: a curved, flat, wooden tool that can be thrown in such a way that it returns to the thrower
BOOMERANG Defined for Kids
Definition of boomerang for Students
: a curved club that can be thrown so as to return to the thrower
History for boomerang
The word boomerang was taken from a language called Dharuk, spoken by the native Australian people who lived around what is today Sydney, Australia, when the first Europeans landed there in 1788. Many Dharuk speakers died of smallpox, brought by European colonists, and the language was almost completely out of use by about 1850. Curiously, the earliest record of Dharuk, taken down in 1790, incorrectly described boomerang as a kind of wooden sword.
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