[ bluhn-der-buhs ]
/ ˈblʌn dərˌbʌs /


a short musket of wide bore with expanded muzzle to scatter shot, bullets, or slugs at close range.
an insensitive, blundering person.

Nearby words

  1. blumberg, baruch samuel,
  2. blume,
  3. blumenau,
  4. blunden,
  5. blunder,
  6. blunderful,
  7. blunderhead,
  8. blundering,
  9. blunge,
  10. blunger

Origin of blunderbuss

1645–55; < Dutch donderbus (equivalent to donder thunder + bus gun, box1) with donder replaced by blunder. See harquebus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blunderbuss

British Dictionary definitions for blunderbuss


/ (ˈblʌndəˌbʌs) /


an obsolete short musket with large bore and flared muzzle, used to scatter shot at short range
informal a clumsy unsubtle person

Word Origin for blunderbuss

C17: changed (through the influence of blunder) from Dutch donderbus; from donder thunder + obsolete bus gun

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 blunderbuss



1650s, from Dutch donderbus, from donder "thunder" (Middle Dutch doner, donder, from Proto-Germanic *thunaraz; see thunder (n.)) + bus "gun" (originally "box, tube"); altered by resemblance to blunder.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper