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 Robinhood, the stock trading app, bungled its initial attempt to launch a product resembling a checking and savings account—but which didn’t provide the same protections of such an account. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Credit Karma customers report problems withdrawing money from new savings accounts," 22 Jan. 2020 As for the county’s finance department computer, that question comes out of our stories about how the county bungled some property tax bills. cleveland, "Is Cuyahoga County’s finance computer really so lame it can’t do basic math? – A bonus episode of This Week in the CLE," 18 Jan. 2020 Lee had raised questions about the college’s bungled — and later aborted — attempt to double some executives’ pay and raise others’ by up to 90% as the campus struggled with a $32 million budget gap by cutting classes and eliminating jobs. Nanette Asimov, SFChronicle.com, "CCSF’s executive pay debacle: College appeared to break rules, its lawyer says," 4 Nov. 2019 Jeff Bridich’s bungling widened the field of suitors. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "For the Rangers and Jon Daniels, Nolan Arenado is worth the asking price," 22 Jan. 2020 Muilenburg has been widely criticized inside and outside the industry for bungling relations with regulators, customers, and the flying public following the two crashes, which killed 346 people. Dan Catchpole, Fortune, "After Boeing Fires CEO, Analysts Warn of Even More Turbulence Ahead," 23 Dec. 2019 Civil liberties groups and defense lawyers said the cases were bungled and marred by overreach by law enforcement. Washington Post, "Trump intends to name Jessie K. Liu, U.S. attorney for District, to top Treasury Dept. sanctions post," 11 Dec. 2019 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

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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bungle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bungle?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=b&file=bungle01. Accessed 20 Feb. 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

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