- to do clumsily and awkwardly; botch: He bungled the job.
- to perform or work clumsily or inadequately: He is a fool who bungles consistently.
- a bungling performance.
- that which has been done clumsily or inadequately.
Origin of bungle
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bungling
The problem for them is that this bungling incompetent already got more votes than the well-funded six-term incumbent did.Mississippi Tea Party Goes Watergate
June 6, 2014
Of course, like any bungling seaman, he endangers the very charges in his hands—and I don't mean journalists.Bullying Israeli Government Flack Sparks Diplomatic Row—Among Other Concerns
August 21, 2013
Microsoft has had notable successes building the Xbox business and not bungling the acquisition of Skype.Microsoft Memo Seeks to Reboot and Rebrand Company
July 11, 2013
The process is driven not by bungling bureaucrats or by sinister moneymen, but by the deepest force of all: geography.Why the West Rules—For Now
December 25, 2010
But his bungling was still a welcome bonus for the Feds, allowing them to kill lots of birds with one stone.The Worst Spy Ever
October 31, 2009
Is it because we are bungling legislators that they wish for us in London?The Knight Of Gwynne, Vol. I (of II)
Charles James Lever
His searching eyes missed not a movement, clever or bungling.Marjorie Dean, College Sophomore
The Queen is a connoisseur in these matters, and there must be no bungling.Shakespeare's Christmas Gift to Queen Bess
Anna Benneson McMahan
Just think of his bungling off that old musket and scaring the lot!Hunting the Skipper
George Manville Fenn
There was never any bungling where Doctor Hilary was concerned.Antony Gray,--Gardener
- (tr) to spoil (an operation) through clumsiness, incompetence, etc; botch
- a clumsy or unsuccessful performance or piece of work; mistake; botch
Word Origin and History for bungling
1660s, verbal noun from bungle (v.).
1580s, past participle adjective from bungle (v.). Related: Bunglingly.
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.
1650s, from bungle (v.).