a bent or curved piece of tough wood used by the Australian Aborigines as a throwing club, one form of which can be thrown so as to return to the thrower.
something, as a scheme or argument, that does injury to the originator.
  1. a mobile platform, adjustable to different levels, for painting scenery.
  2. a batten, usually suspended vertically in the wings, for holding lighting units.

verb (used without object)

to come back or return, as a boomerang.
to cause harm to the originator; backfire.

Origin of boomerang

1820–30; < Dharuk būmariny Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for boomerang

return, reverse, rebound, ricochet, react, recoil, backlash

Examples from the Web for boomerang

Contemporary Examples of boomerang

Historical Examples of boomerang

  • But then it occurred to me that there was a way of using the weapon which threatened, as a boomerang.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • But the boomerang had come to my hand, and I'd caught it on the fly.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • "Boomerang" is the joint nom-de-plume of a Young Australian and his collaborator.

  • Pat Valdo hurries off to prepare for his boomerang throwing.


    Christopher Morley

  • Bewildered, she tried to retaliate with the boomerang of vituperation.


    Edna Ferber

British Dictionary definitions for boomerang



a curved flat wooden missile of native Australians, which can be made to return to the thrower
an action or statement that recoils on its originator


(intr) to recoil or return unexpectedly, causing harm to its originator; backfire

Word Origin for boomerang

C19: from a native Australian language
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 boomerang

1827, adapted from an extinct Aboriginal languages of New South Wales, Australia. Another variant, perhaps, was wo-mur-rang (1798).


1880, from boomerang (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper