verb (used with object), bun·gled, bun·gling.

to do clumsily and awkwardly; botch: He bungled the job.

verb (used without object), bun·gled, bun·gling.

to perform or work clumsily or inadequately: He is a fool who bungles consistently.


a bungling performance.
that which has been done clumsily or inadequately.

Nearby words

  1. bungee,
  2. bungee cord,
  3. bungee jumping,
  4. bunger,
  5. bunghole,
  6. bungler,
  7. bunglesome,
  8. bungling,
  9. bungstarter,
  10. bungwall

Origin of bungle

First recorded in 1520–30; of uncertain origin

Related formsbun·gler, nounbun·gling·ly, adverbun·bun·gling, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for bungling

British Dictionary definitions for bungling



(tr) to spoil (an operation) through clumsiness, incompetence, etc; botch


a clumsy or unsuccessful performance or piece of work; mistake; botch
Derived Formsbungler, nounbungling, adjective, noun

Word Origin for bungle

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 bungling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper