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blunderbuss

[bluhn-der-buhs] /ˈblʌn dərˌbʌs/
noun
1.
a short musket of wide bore with expanded muzzle to scatter shot, bullets, or slugs at close range.
2.
an insensitive, blundering person.
Origin of blunderbuss
1645-1655
1645-55; < Dutch donderbus (equivalent to donder thunder + bus gun, box1) with donder replaced by blunder. See harquebus
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blunderbuss
Historical Examples
  • A glimmer of a smile came to her face, and she raised the blunderbuss, pointing it full at my breast.

    The O'Ruddy Stephen Crane
  • With this hurried adjuration, he cocked his blunderbuss, and stood on the offensive.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • We found old Thomas waiting at the hall door with his blunderbuss on his shoulder.

    Dick Cheveley W. H. G. Kingston
  • However, a sensible man holds no long discussions with a blunderbuss.

    The O'Ruddy Stephen Crane
  • From the days of the Maxim gun and the Lee-Metford to the days of the howitzer and the blunderbuss.

    Drer Herbert E. A. (Herbert Ernest Augustus) Furst
  • But always this man stolidly faced me with the yawning mouth of the blunderbuss.

    The O'Ruddy Stephen Crane
  • No, no,—my blunderbuss is loaded, and 66 the villains cannot escape.

    The Rambles of a Rat A. L. O. E.
  • "Here approaches Strammers in quest of his blunderbuss," she answered calmly.

    The O'Ruddy Stephen Crane
  • Who cou'd divine your Meaning, when you talk'd of a blunderbuss, who thought of a Rendevous?

    The Busie Body Susanna Centlivre
  • “I almost believe that the blunderbuss was the tool of the Hill crowd,” she said angrily.

    Betty Wales Senior Margaret Warde
British Dictionary definitions for blunderbuss

blunderbuss

/ˈblʌndəˌbʌs/
noun
1.
an obsolete short musket with large bore and flared muzzle, used to scatter shot at short range
2.
(informal) a clumsy unsubtle person
Word Origin
C17: changed (through the influence of blunder) from Dutch donderbus; from donderthunder + obsolete bus gun
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 blunderbuss
n.

1650s, from Dutch donderbus, from donder "thunder" (Middle Dutch doner, donder, from Proto-Germanic *thunaraz; see thunder (n.)) + bus "gun" (originally "box, tube"); altered by resemblance to blunder.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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16
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