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

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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 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, "Mike Finger: Dallas Cowboys set a ‘record,’ even while they’re stuck in place," 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, "WHO, Nations’ Covid Response Hampered by Politics, Reviewer Says," 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, "Stolen lives: The harrowing story of two girls sold into sexual slavery," 28 Sep. 2020 The focus on the safety and efficacy of a vaccine is a shift from when Biden was preoccupied with whether Trump would bungle its manufacture and distribution. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Biden and Harris preemptively sow doubt on Trump vaccine announcement," 9 Sep. 2020 Election officials around the country continue to bungle the task of conducting elections during the pandemic. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Georgia’s Failure Shows How Not to Run an Election in the Pandemic," 10 June 2020 Critics have accused Trump of bungling the response by playing down the risk for fear that drastic measures would cause economic disruption. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Trump says he will address the nation on coronavirus crisis," 11 Mar. 2020 Nobody knows how serious the pandemic will be or whether the Administration will bungle it. Time, "Mike Bloomberg Wants to Fix America. But Can He Fix the Democrats?," 2 Mar. 2020 The revelation is certain to bring more scrutiny upon the local police force, which appears to have bungled the shooting investigation and has a record of past troubles, including claims of cover-ups and other misconduct. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "Suspect in Arbery Shooting Offered to Help Deal With Potential Trespasser," 16 May 2020

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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Statistics for bungle

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bungle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bungle. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for bungle



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

More from Merriam-Webster on bungle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bungle

Nglish: Translation of bungle for Spanish Speakers

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