ding·​bat | \ ˈdiŋ-ˌbat How to pronounce dingbat (audio) \

Definition of dingbat

1 : a typographical symbol or ornament (such as *, ¶, or ✠)

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for dingbat


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of dingbat in a Sentence

I told you it wouldn't work, you dingbat! a dingbat who was constantly firing off nonsensical letters to the editor
Recent Examples on the Web Anne Hathaway ably fights off the Hatha-haters as Daphne Kluger, a dingbat movie star used by Debbie and Lou as an unwitting eighth member of the crew; in a movie where everyone keeps it close to the vest, Hathaway knows to play it brassy and big. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Ocean’s 8’ is a different take on the bling ring," 6 June 2018 Young women have been targeted as linguistic dingbats for a long time. Kory Stamper, The Cut, "The 300-Year History of Using ‘Literally’ Figuratively," 29 Jan. 2018 Beyond that, there’s a New York attorney general that still aims to make time for 45 and his band of dingbats. Michael Arceneaux, The Root, "The #MeToo Movement Will Take Down the Music Industry and 17 Other Predictions For 2018," 21 Dec. 2017 Yes, Klan members could seem a bunch of dingbats with their robes, rites, and goofy language of Klaziks, Kludds, Klonsuls, and, yes, a Kloran. Randy Dotinga, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Second Coming of the KKK' explores the largely forgotten 1920s resurgence of the Klan," 26 Oct. 2017 Having already been yelled at because the block looked unpleasant in Comsat meetings, two dingbat detectives were told to go back and pick [Garner] up. Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "Matt Taibbi: The case of Eric Garner proves that broken windows policing is broken," 24 Oct. 2017 It was designed by Hermann Zaph, the same gentleman who designed everyone’s favorite dingbats font. Kjell Reigstad, Longreads, "Art Director Kjell Reigstad on How We Refined Longreads’ Typography and Logo," 25 Sep. 2017 Who’s to say that on the day Congress plans to move its stopgap bill, Trump won’t tweet a veto threat at 6:30 a.m. because some dingbat on Fox Jim Newell, Slate Magazine, "Welcome Back, Congress," 5 Sep. 2017 But even symbolic mother-daughter relationships have a way of turning dysfunctional, and Liz comes to see Rosemary less as a beacon than a warning — an image of the cynical, resentful, washed-up dingbat Liz herself might well become. A.o. Scott, New York Times, "Carrie Fisher, a Princess, a Rebel and a Brave Comic Voice," 27 Dec. 2016

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

See More

First Known Use of dingbat

1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dingbat

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dingbat

Statistics for dingbat

Time Traveler for dingbat

The first known use of dingbat was in 1904

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dingbat


How to pronounce dingbat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dingbat

US, informal : a stupid or crazy person

More from Merriam-Webster on dingbat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dingbat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dingbat

Comments on dingbat

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


something of little or no value

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!