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

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Other Words from bungle

bungle noun
bungler \ ˈbəŋ-​g(ə-​)lər How to pronounce bungler (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 With the help from an anthropomorphic rat gifted in the culinary arts, a bungling talentless cook lands a spot on the line of a prestigious restaurant in Paris. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "All 21 Disney Pixar Movies, Ranked From Worst to Best," 21 Oct. 2019 Mishandling the problem could create decades of security threats in the U.S. and Europe, and several American allies are bungling this test. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The West’s Foreign Fighter Problem," 12 Apr. 2019 Alabama’s first-ever Census as a state got badly bungled. al, "Alabama’s mortifying miscount of 1820 Census; and the tally is still wrong," 28 Dec. 2019 Dalio, though, has bungled his own presidential stock market calls. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "World's largest hedge fund Bridgewater reportedly has big bet on market crash," 22 Nov. 2019 Even disruptions in Earth’s magnetic fields might bungle whales’ sense of navigation. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Georgia Beachgoers Help Save Pod of Stranded Pilot Whales," 19 July 2019 Too bad Megan Rapinoe and her band of elitists bungled their attempt at inclusion by dissing the White House. latimes.com, "Letters: Women's soccer team is on top of the world, again," 12 July 2019 Hicks bungled his hijacking of the Johnson, however, and proved maladroit at escaping, leaving a clear trail of evidence along his getaway route. Rinker Buck, WSJ, "‘The Last Pirate of New York’ Review: New York’s Original Gangster," 28 June 2019 Or Sarah Snook’s Shiv, the sharpest of the Roy heirs, who still manages to bungle her own ascension? Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Ten Great Performances from 2019," 12 Dec. 2019

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.

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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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Time Traveler for bungle

Time Traveler

The first known use of bungle was in 1530

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Statistics for bungle

Last Updated

2 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bungle.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bungle. Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for bungle


How to pronounce bungle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bungle

: to make mistakes in doing (something) : to not do (something) well or successfully


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on bungle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bungle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bungle

Spanish Central: Translation of bungle

Nglish: Translation of bungle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on bungle

What made you want to look up bungle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assert without proof or before proving

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