dun·​der·​head ˈdən-dər-ˌhed How to pronounce dunderhead (audio)
dunderheaded adjective

Examples of dunderhead in a Sentence

wondered how long it would take the dunderheads at the head office to screw things up
Recent Examples on the Web Back in 1848, being called a goose was like being called a dunderhead. Detroit Free Press, 12 Aug. 2023 But don't be too quick to write off these tiny critters as dunderheads. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 17 Apr. 2023 The story’s hero, Nat (no last name given) is a classic le Carré character, a skilled mid-level field operative in the secret British intelligence services who is underappreciated and sometimes abused by the dunderheads above him. Richard Lipez, Washington Post, 17 Oct. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dunderhead.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps from Dutch donder thunder + English head; akin to Old High German thonar thunder — more at thunder entry 1

First Known Use

1630, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dunderhead was in 1630

Dictionary Entries Near dunderhead

Cite this Entry

“Dunderhead.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dunderhead. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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