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blockbuster

[blok-buhs-ter]
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noun
  1. an aerial bomb containing high explosives and weighing from four to eight tons, used as a large-scale demolition bomb.
  2. a motion picture, novel, etc., especially one lavishly produced, that has or is expected to have wide popular appeal or financial success.
  3. something or someone that is forcefully or overwhelmingly impressive, effective, or influential: The campaign was a blockbuster.
  4. a real-estate speculator who practices blockbusting.
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Origin of blockbuster

First recorded in 1940–45; block + buster
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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blockbuster

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British Dictionary definitions for blockbuster

blockbuster

noun informal
  1. a large bomb used to demolish extensive areas or strengthened targets
  2. a very successful, effective, or forceful person, thing, etc
  3. a lavish film, show, novel, etc, that proves to be an outstanding popular success
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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 blockbuster

n.

also block-buster, big bomb (4,000 pounds or larger, according to some sources), 1942, from block (n.) in the "built-up city square" sense. Entertainment sense is attested from 1957. U.S. sense of "real estate broker who sells a house to a black family on an all-white neighborhood," thus sparking an exodus, is from 1955.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper