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[blok-buhs-ter] /ˈblɒkˌbʌs tər/
an aerial bomb containing high explosives and weighing from four to eight tons, used as a large-scale demolition bomb.
a motion picture, novel, etc., especially one lavishly produced, that has or is expected to have wide popular appeal or financial success.
something or someone that is forcefully or overwhelmingly impressive, effective, or influential:
The campaign was a blockbuster.
a real-estate speculator who practices blockbusting.
Origin of blockbuster
1940-45; block + buster Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for blockbuster
  • It could have been the premiere of a summer blockbuster.
  • The right gear-and tips from the pros-will make your next vacation video a blockbuster.
  • If replicated, that's a stunning finding, a potential blockbuster for patients.
  • Genomics will make possible the kind of customization that undermines the drug industry's blockbuster mentality.
  • Add talking robots to the mix, and you've got yourself a surefire blockbuster.
  • Gillette, for one, believes he has one more blockbuster plane left in him.
  • It can take a year or more to isolate blockbuster drugs from the lot.
  • Some drugs that target ion channels have achieved blockbuster status.
  • As blockbuster drugs go off patent, the pharmaceutical industry is scrambling for fresh revenue sources.
  • Naturally, it became somewhat more difficult to conceive of a major novel that would not also be a commercial blockbuster.
British Dictionary definitions for blockbuster


noun (informal)
a large bomb used to demolish extensive areas or strengthened targets
a very successful, effective, or forceful person, thing, etc
a lavish film, show, novel, etc, that proves to be an outstanding popular success
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
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Word Origin and History for blockbuster

also block-buster, big bomb (4,000 pounds or larger, according to some sources), 1942, from block (n.) in the "built-up city square" sense. Entertainment sense is attested from 1957. U.S. sense of "real estate broker who sells a house to a black family on an all-white neighborhood," thus sparking an exodus, is from 1955.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for blockbuster

blockbuster 1


A great success; a lavish and popular film, show, etc: A gangster movie can be a box-office blockbuster

[1950s+; fr the large high-explosive aerial bombs of World War II called blockbusters]

blockbuster 2


A real-estate dealer who blockbusts (1960s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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