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verb (used with object)
  1. (of a goat or calf) to push with the horns or head; butt.
  2. Baseball. to bat (a pitched ball) very gently so that it rolls into the infield close to home plate, usually by holding the bat loosely in hands spread apart and allowing the ball to bounce off it.
verb (used without object)
  1. to push (something) with the horns or head.
  2. Baseball. to bunt a ball.
  1. a push with the head or horns; butt.
  2. Baseball.
    1. the act of bunting.
    2. a bunted ball.

Origin of bunt1

1760–70; orig. British dial. (Central and S England): push, strike; of obscure origin
Related formsbunt·er, noun


  1. Nautical. the middle part of a square sail.
  2. the bagging part of a fishing net or bagging middle area of various cloth objects.

Origin of bunt2

First recorded in 1575–85; origin uncertain


noun Plant Pathology.
  1. a smut disease of wheat in which the kernels are replaced by the black, foul-smelling spores of fungi of the genus Tilletia.

Origin of bunt3

First recorded in 1595–1605; earlier, puffball; of uncertain origin
Also called stinking smut.
Related formsbunt·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bunt

Historical Examples

  • The name is from German, bunt, meaning variegated or gay colored.


    William H. Dooley

  • And if you say that again, I'll bunt you up against the wall.

    Margaret Montfort

    Laura E. Richards

  • The men on the yard who gather in the bunt when furling sails.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • Also, of the man who comes down a stay, &c., to tar it; or foots the bunt in.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • Frank believed Mertez would try to bunt, and he kept the ball high.

    Frank Merriwell's Son

    Burt L. Standish

British Dictionary definitions for bunt


  1. (of an animal) to butt (something) with the head or horns
  2. to cause (an aircraft) to fly in part of an inverted loop or (of an aircraft) to fly in such a loop
  3. US and Canadian (in baseball) to hit (a pitched ball) very gently
  1. the act or an instance of bunting

Word Origin

C19: perhaps nasalized variant of butt ³


  1. nautical the baggy centre of a fishing net or other piece of fabric, such as a square sail

Word Origin

C16: perhaps from Middle Low German bunt bundle


  1. a disease of cereal plants caused by smut fungi (genus Tilletia)

Word Origin

C17: of unknown 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

Word Origin and History for bunt


1825, "to strike with the head or horns," perhaps an alteration of butt (v.) with a goat in mind, or a survival from Middle English bounten "to return." As a baseball term from 1889. Related: Bunted; bunting.


1767, "a push;" see bunt (v.). Baseball sense is from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper