dumbbell

[ duhm-bel ]
/ ˈdʌmˌbɛl /

noun

a gymnastic apparatus consisting of two wooden or metal balls connected by a short bar serving as a handle, used as a weight for exercising.
a stupid person.

Origin of dumbbell

First recorded in 1705–15; dumb + bell1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dumbbell

British Dictionary definitions for dumbbell

dumbbell

/ (ˈdʌmˌbɛl) /

noun

gymnastics weightlifting an exercising weight consisting of a single bar with a heavy ball or disc at either end
a small wooden object shaped like this used in dog training for the dog to retrieve
slang, mainly US and Canadian a fool
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 dumbbell

dumbbell


n.

"weighted bar used for exercise," 1711, originally an apparatus like that used to ring a church bell, but without the bell (hence dumb); used for exercise but sometimes also to practice ringing changes. Figurative sense of "blockhead, stupid person" attested by 1918, American English college slang.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper