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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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.

from The 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.

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

  • n. a short musket of wide bore with a flared muzzle


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



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