Definition of blockbusting in US English:



  • attributive Very successful commercially.

    ‘his blockbusting novel’
    • ‘Researchers believe these proteins could hold the key to creating a series of blockbusting next-generation drugs.’
    • ‘Predictability is essential to Hollywood's blockbusting formulae.’
    • ‘If this life is my blockbusting movie, then I have a lot more important jazz to worry about.’
    • ‘Why, after all, should she tell me that more than anything else she dreams of being a massive blockbusting star?’
    • ‘Together, our crusade to save the cinema can be a blockbusting success.’
    • ‘My recent letter about the humourless programme was published just before the blockbusting episode watched by nearly 20 million viewers.’
    • ‘Murphy speaks highly of the blockbusting centre.’
    • ‘After wooing the Eastleigh audience with another blockbusting performance, the veteran entertainer vowed to fans that he would be back again next year.’
    • ‘Filmgoers sick of the blockbusting flicks that tend to emerge this time of year will be pleased to know that as far as world cinema is concerned, they're covered for the next week at least.’
    • ‘From its pensive poster and trailer alone, the film looks set to continue his hot streak as a director who can capably juggle blockbusting crowd-pleasers with more serious subject matter.’
    • ‘A ruling in the US was made that one of its blockbusting drugs would cease to be patent protected earlier than previously expected.’
    • ‘Hot on the heels of the National Galleries of Scotland's blockbusting Monet show comes another Impressionist.’
    • ‘Compared with the blockbusting novelists of our age, this was a meagre output.’
    • ‘In fact, there was often so much going on that the screen split into four just to show all the blockbusting action.’
    • ‘Nowadays, most revenue and profit comes from the blockbusting drugs that notch up over $1b in annual sales.’
    • ‘Wayne gave his usual blockbusting performance, taking the ball up and making metres and stitching up the middle with his tackling.’


North American
  • The practice of persuading owners to sell property cheaply because of the fear of people of another race or class moving into the neighborhood, and thus profiting by reselling at a higher price.

    • ‘White Chicagoans deployed an expansive sense of what counted as blockbusting and how bad it was.’
    • ‘The agency did not systematically discourage either racial discrimination or blockbusting.’
    • ‘He investigated other cities' approaches to blockbusting and found that only Baltimore had a law that condemned the practice.’
    • ‘Attached to this law were prohibitions against blockbusting tactics.’
    • ‘Once a blockbuster had made a solid purchase on a block, it was relatively easy to complete the final phase of the blockbusting process.’
    • ‘So deep was white Chicagoans' hostility to the practice that activists labored to stop such blockbusting even when they were willing to live alongside African American neighbors.’
    • ‘White neighborhood organizations pressured the Department's staff to use its power to retract the licenses of dealers who employed blockbusting tactics.’
    • ‘Neither were neighborhoods victimized by blockbusting.’
    • ‘Other Chicagoans, including African Americans and representatives of the news media and legal systems, understood blockbusting differently.’
    • ‘At public hearings, scholars, prominent real estate brokers, and civic watchdogs testified about possible remedies to the problems of racial discrimination and blockbusting.’