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bungle

[buhng-guh l]
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verb (used with object), bun·gled, bun·gling.
  1. to do clumsily and awkwardly; botch: He bungled the job.
verb (used without object), bun·gled, bun·gling.
  1. to perform or work clumsily or inadequately: He is a fool who bungles consistently.
noun
  1. a bungling performance.
  2. that which has been done clumsily or inadequately.

Origin of bungle

First recorded in 1520–30; of uncertain origin
Related formsbun·gler, nounbun·gling·ly, adverbun·bun·gling, adjective

Synonyms

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1. mismanage, muddle, spoil, ruin; foul up.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bungling

bungle

verb
  1. (tr) to spoil (an operation) through clumsiness, incompetence, etc; botch
noun
  1. a clumsy or unsuccessful performance or piece of work; mistake; botch
Derived Formsbungler, nounbungling, adjective, noun

Word Origin

C16: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare dialect Swedish bangla to work without results
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

Word Origin and History for bungling

n.

1660s, verbal noun from bungle (v.).

adj.

1580s, past participle adjective from bungle (v.). Related: Bunglingly.

bungle

v.

1520s, origin obscure. OED suggests imitative; perhaps a mix of boggle and bumble, or more likely from a Scandinavian word akin to Swedish bangla "to work ineffectually," Old Swedish bunga "to strike" (cf. German Bengel "cudgel," also "rude fellow"). Related: Bungled; bungling.

bungle

n.

1650s, from bungle (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper