a gross, stupid, or careless mistake: That's your second blunder this morning.

verb (used without object)

to move or act blindly, stupidly, or without direction or steady guidance: Without my glasses I blundered into the wrong room.
to make a gross or stupid mistake, especially through carelessness or mental confusion: Just pray that he doesn't blunder again and get the names wrong.

verb (used with object)

to bungle; botch: Several of the accounts were blundered by that new assistant.
to utter thoughtlessly; blurt out: He blundered his surprise at their winning the award.

Origin of blunder

1350–1400; Middle English blunderen, blondren, (v.) < Old Norse blunda shut one's eyes, nap; compare Norwegian dialect blundra
Related formsblun·der·er, nounblun·der·ing·ly, adverbnon·blun·der·ing, adjective, nounnon·blun·der·ing·ly, adverbout·blun·der, verb (used with object)su·per·blun·der, nounun·blun·der·ing, adjective

Synonyms for blunder

1. error. See mistake. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for blundering

bumble, bungle, err, flounder, blow, botch, flub, confuse, misjudge, fumble, stumble, bobble

Examples from the Web for blundering

Contemporary Examples of blundering

  • This initiative highlights activists from Cuba to China, who use satire to poke fun at their blundering and oppressive regimes.

  • He and several other blundering referees were cut by FIFA when it announced its list of officials for the remaining three rounds.

    The Daily Beast logo
    World Cup Primer

    Joshua Robinson

    June 12, 2010

  • It defies plausibility to suggest that president after president after president is blundering or inept.

    The Daily Beast logo
    So What If Obama Fails?

    Matthew Yglesias

    August 23, 2009

Historical Examples of blundering

  • But if I was a blundering amateur in all this, they were not so much discourteous as envious.

  • It will be strange if I cannot find roads which shall baffle these blundering soldiers.'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • All night he ran, blundering in the darkness into mishaps and obstacles that delayed but did not daunt.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • "My blundering vision could not see how the strands were being woven," he added.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • Suddenly the idea that he was blundering again exasperated him.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for blundering



a stupid or clumsy mistake
a foolish tactless remark

verb (mainly intr)

to make stupid or clumsy mistakes
to make foolish tactless remarks
(often foll by about, into, etc) to act clumsily; stumblehe blundered into a situation he knew nothing about
(tr) to mismanage; botch
Derived Formsblunderer, nounblundering, noun, adjectiveblunderingly, adverb

Word Origin for blunder

C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse blunda to close one's eyes, Norwegian dialect blundra; see blind
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 blundering

mid-14c. as a present participle adjective; mid-15c. as a verbal noun, from blunder (v.). Related: Blunderingly.



mid-14c., "to stumble about blindly," from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse blundra "shut one's eyes," from PIE root *bhlendh- (see blind). Meaning "make a stupid mistake" is first recorded 1711. Related: Blundered; blundering.



mid-14c., apparently from blunder (v.), though of about the same age.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper