Definition of blunderbuss in English:


Syllabification: blun·der·buss
Pronunciation: /ˈbləndərˌbəs


  • 1 historical A short-barreled large-bored gun with a flared muzzle, used at short range.
    More example sentences
    • Arrived outside, they collected some blunderbusses, rifles and revolvers, and took up a position behind some sandhills.
    • However, his soldiers now have more primitive weapons, such as blunderbusses, muskets, swords, and repeating crossbows.
    • I should have used a blunderbuss not a derringer.
  • 2An action or way of doing something regarded as lacking in subtlety and precision: economists resort too quickly to the blunderbuss of regulation
    More example sentences
    • Revenue are going after people in a blunderbuss approach without making allowances for the fact that some people have inherited this problem.
    • Unfortunately, rather than considering specific solutions, opponents of spam are currently adopting a blunderbuss approach, latching on to every anti-spam technology going in the vain hope that one of them might do the job.
    • Traditional chemistry uses a blunderbuss approach, based on the idea that if you produce 10,000 variations of a drug that seems to work a bit you will probably come up with something that works a bit better.


mid 17th century: alteration (by association with blunder) of Dutch donderbus, literally 'thunder gun'.

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a small amount; a little