9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[buhng-guh l] /ˈbʌŋ gəl/
verb (used with object), bungled, bungling.
to do clumsily and awkwardly; botch:
He bungled the job.
verb (used without object), bungled, bungling.
to perform or work clumsily or inadequately:
He is a fool who bungles consistently.
a bungling performance.
that which has been done clumsily or inadequately.
Origin of bungle
1520-30; of uncertain origin
Related forms
bungler, noun
bunglingly, adverb
unbungling, adjective
1. mismanage, muddle, spoil, ruin; foul up. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bungled
  • Overblown verbs, explosive nouns, beautifully bungled prepositions.
  • The murders could have been a bungled robbery attempt in the affluent neighborhood.
  • But a continued bungled, violent response by the government could change that.
  • If he hadn't gotten shot who knows what else he would have bungled.
  • Much of it is so badly bungled that it can't help but rivet the audience's attention.
  • So far, every bungled plot has caused attendant intrusions.
  • My original wording is an attempt to describe why that wording fails, why it is semantically bungled.
  • Past efforts to preserve the panda have been a mixture of good intentions, failed promises and bungled opportunities.
  • In other words, the president lied to her and then bungled a war.
  • Even requests for basic, public financial information were bungled.
British Dictionary definitions for bungled


(transitive) to spoil (an operation) through clumsiness, incompetence, etc; botch
a clumsy or unsuccessful performance or piece of work; mistake; botch
Derived Forms
bungler, noun
bungling, adjective, noun
Word Origin
C16: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare dialect Swedish bangla to work without results
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 bungled



1520s, origin obscure. OED suggests imitative; perhaps a mix of boggle and bumble, or more likely from a Scandinavian word akin to Swedish bangla "to work ineffectually," Old Swedish bunga "to strike" (cf. German Bengel "cudgel," also "rude fellow"). Related: Bungled; bungling.


1650s, from bungle (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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