What Is The Origin Of The Word "Blunt"?

The word blunt goes back way further than Lil Wayne or "You're Beautiful." And, it wasn't always related to so-called "wacky tobacky."

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Origin of blunt

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English; perhaps akin to blind

synonym study for blunt

1. See dull. 2. Blunt, bluff, brusque, curt characterize manners and speech. Blunt suggests lack of polish and of regard for the feelings of others: blunt and tactless. Bluff implies an unintentional roughness together with so much good-natured heartiness that others rarely take offense: a bluff sea captain. Brusque connotes sharpness and abruptness of speech or manner: a brusque denial. Curt applies especially to disconcertingly concise language: a curt reply. 3. See dull.


blunt·ly, adverbblunt·ness, nounun·blunt·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of blunt?

Blunt describes something as being not sharp or as being straightforward. Blunt is commonly used as a slang noun to mean a marijuana cigarette. Blunt has several other senses as an adjective, verb, and noun.

If something is blunt, it has a flat surface or is rounded. Blunt objects lack points and will slam, prod, or smash rather than pierce, puncture, or stab. In this sense, blunt is the opposite of sharp. For example, a sword is a sharp weapon that has a fine point that can pierce or has a fine edge that can slice. On the other hand, a baseball bat is a blunt object that is rounded with a flat surface. You can’t cut or slice anything with a baseball bat.

Real-life examples: Sledgehammers, baseball bats, and tubes are all blunt objects.

Used in a sentence: He smacked the nails with the blunt end of the hammer. 

In this same sense, blunt means to make something not sharp.

Used in a sentence: She blunted the knife by trying to use it to cut plaster. 

Blunt can also mean something is straightforward or direct. Usually, this sense refers to comments or statements that are abrupt. For example, saying that your girlfriend’s new dress is ugly is a blunt statement because it directly states an opinion. As you might guess, this sense of blunt is often used interchangeably with words such as rude, curt, and explicit. The adverb bluntly most often refers to this sense of blunt.

Used in a sentence: “I really hate that guy,” Shirley said bluntly. 

In slang, a blunt is a rolled cigarette or cigar that contains marijuana.

Used in a sentence: I saw him smoking a blunt out back on the porch.

Where does blunt come from?

The first records of blunt come from the later 1100s. It comes from Middle English. Any earlier origin is unclear.

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What are some other forms related to blunt?

  • bluntly (adverb)
  • bluntness (noun)
  • unblunted (adjective)

What are some synonyms for blunt?

What are some words that often get used in discussing blunt?

How is blunt used in real life?

Blunt is a common word that often means something isn’t sharp or describes a statement as being straight to the point.



Try using blunt!

Which of the following objects would NOT be described as being blunt?

A. a baseball bat
B. an unsharpened pencil
C. a mallet
D. a pointy needle

How to use blunt in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for blunt (1 of 2)

/ (blʌnt) /

verb (tr)
to make less sharp
to diminish the sensitivity or perception of; make dull
slang a cannabis cigarette

Derived forms of blunt

bluntly, adverbbluntness, noun

Word Origin for blunt

C12: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse blundr dozing, blunda to close one's eyes; see blunder, blind

British Dictionary definitions for blunt (2 of 2)

/ (blʌnt) /

Anthony . 1907–83, British art historian and Soviet spy
Wilfred Scawen . 1840–1922, British poet, traveller, and anti-imperialist
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