dumb·bell | \ˈdəm-ˌbel \

Definition of dumbbell 

1 : a short bar with weights at each end that is used usually in pairs for exercise

2 : a stupid person : dummy

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of dumbbell in a Sentence

I feel like a dumbbell for making such a stupid mistake. if we don't give him a shove, the poor dumbbell never will propose to her

Recent Examples on the Web

Stand up tall and squeeze your glutes, with dumbbells at your sides. NBC News, "5 exercises that target those hard-to-tone body parts," 17 May 2018 With your elbows slightly bent, swing the dumbbells up by squeezing the back muscles together. Jay Willis, GQ, "How to Do Back Rows the Right Way, According to Personal Trainers," 31 Jan. 2018 Do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in your right hand, palm facing inwards towards the torso. Emily Abbate, GQ, "The Best Abs Workouts: GQ’s Definitive Guide to Getting a Ripped Stomach," 14 June 2018 Dumbbell Deadlift — 10 reps Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs, with your palms facing your body. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "Emma Roberts’ Go-to Total-Body Strength and Cardio Workout," 14 Apr. 2018 At TrampoLean in Midtown Manhattan, one can cut a trimmer physique, and preserve their joints, during one of the studio’s 50-minute classes, which can also incorporate light hand weights, resistance bands, and dumbbells to increase intensity. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "From Trampoline Classes to Jump Roping, 6 Throwback Workouts That Don’t Feel Like Exercise," 20 June 2018 The package had contained dumbbells, weights and socks, which cost about $30. Pioneer Press, chicagotribune.com, "Police blotter: Five cars entered in one night in Western Springs," 12 July 2018 Biomind, a boxy-looking black machine shaped something like a fat dumbbell, sat on a table with a cluster of experts fluttering about like waiters. Robyn Dixon, latimes.com, "China plans to dominate AI, with a vanguard of robotic doctors like 'Biomind'," 6 July 2018 This Is Why Trump Won Dumbbell side bend Equipment: Single medium-weight dumbbell. Emily Abbate, GQ, "The Best Abs Workouts: GQ’s Definitive Guide to Getting a Ripped Stomach," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dumbbell.' 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 dumbbell

1785, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dumbbell

Statistics for dumbbell

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dumbbell

The first known use of dumbbell was in 1785

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dumbbell



English Language Learners Definition of dumbbell

: a short bar with weights at the ends that is used to make muscles stronger

: a stupid or foolish person

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on dumbbell

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!