[bluhj-uh n]


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 formsbludg·eon·er, bludg·eon·eer [bluhj-uh-neer] /ˌblʌdʒ əˈnɪər/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for bludgeon

club, truncheon, bat, stick

Examples from the Web for bludgeon

Contemporary Examples of bludgeon

Historical Examples of bludgeon

  • 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!

  • Strickland employed not the rapier of sarcasm but the bludgeon of invective.

    The Moon and Sixpence

    W. Somerset Maugham

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 (tr)

to hit or knock down with or as with a bludgeon
(often foll by into) to force; bully; coercethey bludgeoned him into accepting the job
Derived Formsbludgeoner, noun

Word Origin for bludgeon

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

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