Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A short musket of wide bore and flaring muzzle, formerly used to scatter shot at close range.
  • noun A person regarded as clumsy and stupid.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A stupid, blundering person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A short gun or firearm, with a large bore, capable of holding a number of balls, and intended to do execution without exact aim.
  • noun A stupid, blundering fellow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a short musket of wide bore with a flared muzzle

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[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 box).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Dutch donderbus ("blunderbuss", literally "thunder gun"). Altered under the influence of blunder.

Examples

  • I always like being able to work the word blunderbuss into a post.

    Archive 2007-10-01

  • I always like being able to work the word blunderbuss into a post.

    Hoisting The Jolly Roger

  • 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.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Gadgets

  • 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.

    Balkinization

  • 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.

    Balkinization

  • 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.

    FEC "Pooper-Scooper" Arrives

  • 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.

    Schiavo: The Power of a Networked Minority

  • _Rad-büchse_, a wheel box, and the termination of "blunderbuss" and

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 "Bulgaria" to "Calgary"

  • 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

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, August 11, 1920

  • 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.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

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