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[boo-muh-rang] /ˈbu məˌræŋ/
a bent or curved piece of tough wood used by the Australian Aborigines as a throwing club, one form of which can be thrown so as to return to the thrower.
something, as a scheme or argument, that does injury to the originator.
  1. a mobile platform, adjustable to different levels, for painting scenery.
  2. a batten, usually suspended vertically in the wings, for holding lighting units.
verb (used without object)
to come back or return, as a boomerang.
to cause harm to the originator; backfire.
Origin of boomerang
1820-30; < Dharuk būmariny Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for boomerang
  • It is for good reason that this generation is known as the boomerang generation.
  • The appeal is a double-edged sword, and likewise a boomerang, and several other sorts of cutlery.
  • Over the years it's grown to the big boomerang you see today.
  • Call it the harbinger of a giant outsourcing boomerang.
  • The day program has didgeridoo music, lessons in boomerang throwing, and exhibits about natural remedies for illness.
  • Doi decided to do the boomerang tests after the boomerang champ asked him to test them in space.
  • He throws a wad of paper out the door of his room, to see if it will boomerang back and land in one of his gym shoes.
  • However, the bright boomerang-shaped feature may tell a more dramatic tale.
  • boomerang is unlike his previous books, in that it is a series of portraits of whole societies.
  • They're afraid that the intervention will boomerang.
British Dictionary definitions for boomerang


a curved flat wooden missile of native Australians, which can be made to return to the thrower
an action or statement that recoils on its originator
(intransitive) to recoil or return unexpectedly, causing harm to its originator; backfire
Word Origin
C19: from a native Australian language
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 boomerang

1827, adapted from an extinct Aboriginal languages of New South Wales, Australia. Another variant, perhaps, was wo-mur-rang (1798).


1880, from boomerang (n.).

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



To return to the parental nest: There's a 40 percent chance you'll ''boomerang'' back to live with your parents at least once (1980s+)

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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