• synonyms


See more synonyms for bungle on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), bun·gled, bun·gling.
  1. to do clumsily and awkwardly; botch: He bungled the job.
Show More
verb (used without object), bun·gled, bun·gling.
  1. to perform or work clumsily or inadequately: He is a fool who bungles consistently.
Show More
  1. a bungling performance.
  2. that which has been done clumsily or inadequately.
Show More

Origin of bungle

First recorded in 1520–30; of uncertain origin
Related formsbun·gler, nounbun·gling·ly, adverbun·bun·gling, adjective


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. mismanage, muddle, spoil, ruin; foul up.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for bungle

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In the first place she'll be sorry for you, because you will make such a bungle of it.

  • Sure, now, didn't he give you my message, or did he bungle it?

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • He must understand his position, so as not to bungle the thing.

    The Pit Prop Syndicate

    Freeman Wills Crofts

  • "I made a false step there; but it was just like me to bungle," continued Gaston.

    Fairy Fingers

    Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

  • He never hesitated, nor did he hurry and make a bungle of it.

British Dictionary definitions for bungle


  1. (tr) to spoil (an operation) through clumsiness, incompetence, etc; botch
Show More
  1. a clumsy or unsuccessful performance or piece of work; mistake; botch
Show More
Derived Formsbungler, nounbungling, adjective, noun

Word Origin

C16: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare dialect Swedish bangla to work without results
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 bungle


1520s, origin obscure. OED suggests imitative; perhaps a mix of boggle and bumble, or more likely from a Scandinavian word akin to Swedish bangla "to work ineffectually," Old Swedish bunga "to strike" (cf. German Bengel "cudgel," also "rude fellow"). Related: Bungled; bungling.

Show More


1650s, from bungle (v.).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper