What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[duhm-bel] /ˈdʌmˌbɛl/
a gymnastic apparatus consisting of two wooden or metal balls connected by a short bar serving as a handle, used as a weight for exercising.
a stupid person.
Origin of dumbbell
1705-15; dumb + bell1
2. dunce, ignoramus, fool, blockhead, dimwit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for dumbbell
  • He says that with each vibration, the dumbbell catches on the spacetime fabric and pushes itself up a tiny bit.
  • To increase difficulty, hold a dumbbell or free-weight plate.
  • Not the heavy, raging body-building type, but dumbbell free weight lifting.
  • Anyone who can hoist a dumbbell and print a business card on a home computer can call him or herself a personal trainer.
  • Machine weights are only a modified version of the bar and dumbbell.
British Dictionary definitions for dumbbell


(gymnastics, weightlifting) an exercising weight consisting of a single bar with a heavy ball or disc at either end
a small wooden object shaped like this used in dog training for the dog to retrieve
(slang, mainly US & Canadian) a fool
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dumbbell

"weighted bar used for exercise," 1711, originally an apparatus like that used to ring a church bell, but without the bell (hence dumb); used for exercise but sometimes also to practice ringing changes. Figurative sense of "blockhead, stupid person" attested by 1918, American English college slang.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for dumbbell



A stupid person; idiot: She's an awful dumb-bell

[1918+; fr dumbbell, a kind of weightlifter's barbell, attested from the 1880s]

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for dumbbell

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for dumbbell

Scrabble Words With Friends