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[bluhj-uh n] /ˈblʌdʒ ən/
a short, heavy club with one end weighted, or thicker and heavier than the other.
verb (used with object)
to strike or knock down with a bludgeon.
to force into something; coerce; bully:
The boss finally bludgeoned him into accepting responsibility.
Origin of bludgeon
First recorded in 1720-30; origin uncertain
Related forms
bludgeoner, bludgeoneer
[bluhj-uh-neer] /ˌblʌdʒ əˈnɪər/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bludgeon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The majesty of the law in his hands becomes at once a bludgeon and a pandemonium.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • Thereupon Panaumbe brandished his bludgeon, struck all the foxes, and killed them.

    Aino Folk-Tales Basil Hall Chamberlain
  • The smashing of a face by an Indian's bludgeon is a serious operation.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
  • Then you bludgeon Losch with the idea it was a person Carmack had reason to fear!

    We're Friends, Now Henry Hasse
  • Strickland employed not the rapier of sarcasm but the bludgeon of invective.

    The Moon and Sixpence W. Somerset Maugham
  • You are only a footpad, a simple-minded marquis of the bludgeon.

    The O'Ruddy Stephen Crane
British Dictionary definitions for bludgeon


a stout heavy club, typically thicker at one end
a person, line of argument, etc, that is effective but unsubtle
verb (transitive)
to hit or knock down with or as with a bludgeon
(often foll by into) to force; bully; coerce: they bludgeoned him into accepting the job
Derived Forms
bludgeoner, noun
Word Origin
C18: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bludgeon

1802, from earlier noun bludgeon "short club" (1730), of unknown origin. Related: Bludgeoned; bludgeoning.


"short club," 1730, of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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