American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A short musket of wide bore and flaring muzzle, formerly used to scatter shot at close range.
- n. A person regarded as clumsy and stupid.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A short gun or firearm with a large bore and funnel-shaped muzzle, capable of holding a number of balls or slugs, and intended to be used at a limited range without exact aim. It has been long obsolete in civilized countries.
- n. A stupid, blundering person.
- n. An old style of muzzleloading firearm and early form of shotgun with a distinctive short, large caliber barrel that is flared at the muzzle, therefore able to fire scattered quantities of nails, stones, shot, etc. at short range.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A short gun or firearm, with a large bore, capable of holding a number of balls, and intended to do execution without exact aim.
- n. A stupid, blundering fellow.
- n. a short musket of wide bore with a flared muzzle
- From Dutch donderbus ("blunderbuss", literally "thunder gun"). Altered under the influence of blunder. (Wiktionary)
- Alteration of Dutch donderbus : donder, thunder (from Middle Dutch doner; see (s)tenə- in Indo-European roots) + bus, gun (from Middle Dutch busse, tube, from Latin buxis, box; see box1). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“I always like being able to work the word blunderbuss into a post.”
“Chances are the builder just liked the name blunderbuss and forgot about the part where those guns had short barrels and didn't need a scope since they fire scatter shot.”
“It is hardly clear that President Gore would have made the centerpiece of his Administration a war on Iraq, and that he would have engaged in blunderbuss diplomacy that would fracture alliances of fifty years’ standing, and squander all the good will America enjoyed in the wake of the terrorist attacks.”
“He says that the commission didn't take enough time to distinguish carefully when it adopted a "blunderbuss" exemption for all public communication online, with no distinction between a citizen-volunteer blogger at home and a paid professional with a honed message working in coordination with candidates or parties.”
“_Rad-büchse_, a wheel box, and the termination of "blunderbuss" and”
“As to this last he will find a brief summing-up in the foreword of General Lord HORNE, and he will be able to visualise the whole "blunderbuss" very clearly by the help of the illustrations of”
“The arts have replaced heavy industry as a driver of the British economy and should not be subjected to "blunderbuss" government cuts, according to Melvyn Bragg.”
“The Treasury has been accused of taking a "blunderbuss" approach to public spending cuts by”
“The Centre for Social Justice accuses the government of a "blunderbuss" approach to reducing spending.”
“A thinktank founded by the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has accused the government of taking a "blunderbuss" approach to cuts in Whitehall spending.”
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