Origin of blunt

1150–1200; Middle English; perhaps akin to blind
Related formsblunt·ly, adverbblunt·ness, nounun·blunt·ed, adjective

Synonyms for blunt

Synonym study

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bluntly

Contemporary Examples of bluntly

Historical Examples of bluntly

  • But what was it that Evelyn had required of Mary and that Mary had bluntly refused to do?

  • "He wants to talk with you about a mortgage," I said bluntly.

  • "You won it over Diablo in the Brooklyn Handicap," he answered, bluntly.


    W. A. Fraser

  • And she saw him again, too, as he had been the night he had so bluntly told her of his passion for Rose.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • "When you get ready to go home, you can come to the store," he said bluntly.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

British Dictionary definitions for bluntly



(esp of a knife or blade) lacking sharpness or keenness; dull
not having a sharp edge or pointa blunt instrument
(of people, manner of speaking, etc) lacking refinement or subtlety; straightforward and uncomplicated
outspoken; direct and to the pointa blunt Yorkshireman

verb (tr)

to make less sharp
to diminish the sensitivity or perception of; make dull


slang a cannabis cigarette
Derived Formsbluntly, 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



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

Word Origin and History for bluntly

1550s, "stupidly," from blunt (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "directly" is from 1570s.



c.1200, "dull, obtuse," perhaps from or related to Old Norse blundra (see blunder (v.)). Of tools or weapons, late 14c. Meaning "abrupt of speech or manner" is from 1580s.



late 14c., from blunt (adj.). Related: Blunted; blunting.



street slang for "marijuana and tobacco cigar" (easier to pass around, easier to disguise, and the stimulant in the tobacco enhances the high from the pot) surfaced c.1993, but is said to have originated among Jamaicans in New York City in the early 1980s; from Phillies Blunt brand cigars; see blunt (adj.), which has been used of certain cigars since 19c.

Users say that the Phillies Blunt brand produces less harsh-tasting or sweeter smoke. The leaf wrapper of a Phillies Blunt is strong enough to hold together through the manipulations of making a blunt. Other brands fall apart. [http://nepenthes.lycaeum.org/Drugs/THC/Smoke/blunts.html]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper