bun·​gle | \ ˈbəŋ-gəl How to pronounce bungle (audio) \
bungled; bungling\ ˈbəŋ-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce bungle (audio) \

Definition of bungle

intransitive verb

: to act or work clumsily and awkwardly bungled badly in the campaign

transitive verb

: mishandle, botch bungle a job bungled the investigation

Other Words from bungle

bungle noun
bungler \ ˈbəŋ-​g(ə-​)lər How to pronounce bungle (audio) \ noun

Examples of bungle in a Sentence

The government bungled badly in planning the campaign. bungled the job the first time she tried to do it
Recent Examples on the Web The fifth-round draft choice — no, Cincinnati did not bungle a pick on a kicker here — the kid has hit all 12 of his field goals, including four in the wild-card round, then winners at Tennessee and Kansas City. Barry Wilner, ajc, 12 Feb. 2022 Attorney Kim Foxx managed to bungle things up early by exchanging texts with a relative of Smollett’s, and everything got weirder from there. Rex Huppke, chicagotribune.com, 10 Dec. 2021 That is a question for the next president of baseball operations to solve, and the Mets cannot afford to bungle another job search. New York Times, 1 Oct. 2021 Other members of the board wanted to make sure the state didn’t bungle the reopening. Kiera Feldman, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2021 Don’t mess around and bungle the best quarterback situation the Seahawks franchise has ever seen. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, 26 Feb. 2021 The on-field product was a disaster, only in part because of a season-ending injury to quarterback Dak Prescott, and the new coach found something new to bungle almost every week. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, 5 Jan. 2021 The reality is for countries that bungle the public health response, the economic damage is going to be deeper and longer lasting. Jason Gale, Bloomberg.com, 3 Nov. 2020 The prosecutor in that case, Debranjan Banerjee, told me that individuals working on behalf of the traffickers had offered him a bribe to bungle the prosecution so that the defendants would be released on bail. Smita Sharma, National Geographic, 28 Sep. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bungle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bungle

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for bungle

perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Icelandic banga to hammer

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Cite this Entry

“Bungle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bungle. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for bungle


bun·​gle | \ ˈbəŋ-gəl How to pronounce bungle (audio) \
bungled; bungling

Kids Definition of bungle

: to act, do, make, or work badly bungled the job

Other Words from bungle

bungler noun

More from Merriam-Webster on bungle

Nglish: Translation of bungle for Spanish Speakers


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