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

  • noun A flat, curved, usually wooden missile configured so that when hurled it returns to the thrower.
  • noun A statement or course of action that backfires.
  • intransitive verb To have the opposite effect from the one intended; backfire.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A missile weapon of war and the chase, used by the aborigines of Australia, consisting of a rather flat piece of hard wood bent or curved in its own plane, and from 16 inches to 2 feet long.
  • noun Hence Figuratively, any plan, measure, or project the consequences of which recoil upon the projector, and are therefore the opposite of those intended or expected.

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

  • noun A very singular missile weapon used by the natives of Australia and in some parts of India. It is usually a curved stick of hard wood, from twenty to thirty inches in length, from two to three inches wide, and half or three quarters of an inch thick. When thrown from the hand with a quick rotary motion, it describes very remarkable curves, according to the shape of the instrument and the manner of throwing it, often moving nearly horizontally a long distance, then curving upward to a considerable height, and finally taking a retrograde direction, so as to fall near the place from which it was thrown, or even far in the rear of it.

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

  • noun A flat curved airfoil, that spins about an axis perpendicular to the direction of flight, that was originally used in various parts of the world as hunting weapons or, in returnable types, for sports or training.
  • verb To return to the starting point.
  • verb To travel in a curved path.
  • verb To return or rebound unexpectedly, especially when the result is undesired; to backfire.

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

  • verb return to the initial position from where it came; like a boomerang
  • noun a miscalculation that recoils on its maker
  • noun a curved piece of wood; when properly thrown will return to thrower


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

[Dharuk bumariny.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Dharug bumariny.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word boomerang.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • After a period of dwindling popularity, the Australian toy is finally making a comeback.

    January 19, 2008

  • Har.

    January 19, 2008

  • Does anybody here remember The Magic Boomerang?

    February 4, 2008

  • S of G,

    I wish we had The Magic Boomerang here in the U.S. back when I was growing up.

    February 4, 2008

  • It was a great show. I miss it terribly.

    February 4, 2008

  • boomerang: a phone message from a Baby Boomer, asking you to call back.

    July 23, 2008

  • "A tourist has returned a boomerang to the Australian museum from which he stole it 25 years ago, proving that the artefacts really do come back. The boomerang had been on display in the Queensland outback town of Mount Isa before disappearing in 1983. It was posted to the Frank Aston Underground Museum, which has now closed, from an address in the USA."

    - 'Australian boomerang comes back', BBC website, 17 Jan 2008.

    August 30, 2008

  • This is the same Mount Isa that's been on the BBC News site for another reason recently: some politician made some amusing comments about how ugly ladies should go there because they're very likely to find a man, because of the high male/female ratio.

    I reckon the Mount Isa Publicity Team is hard at work!

    August 30, 2008

  • Spot on, cruncharola. The desert does strange things to people.

    August 30, 2008

  • Another example.

    December 24, 2008