Definition of bludgeon in English:



  • A thick stick with a heavy end, used as a weapon.

    figurative ‘a rhetorical bludgeon in the war against liberalism’
    • ‘The ruling gives authoritarian regimes around the world a new bludgeon to use against news organizations as well as their own populations trying to get access to media beyond the control of state censors.’
    • ‘In terms of state action, he says he wants the bludgeon to be replaced by the rapier.’
    • ‘He grabbed one of the gigantic bones that adorned the top of the casino and used it as a bludgeon, smashing building after building.’
    • ‘And that we can target it like a surgeon - you know, we need more of a surgeon's knife than a bludgeon to go after it.’
    • ‘If liberals play their cards right, this collapse could provide them with a powerful rhetorical bludgeon.’
    • ‘Of course, one should never forget the unificationist politicians and their media allies, who are doing their best to use the links issue as a key bludgeon against the government.’
    • ‘Yet in many ways this was the most bizarre of games; a contest between a rapier and the bluntest of bludgeons.’
    • ‘Here, as elsewhere, we can use a formal argument as a tool of inquiry even if we can't use it as a bludgeon to finish off those who disagree.’
    • ‘In reality, it is a bludgeon used by businesses against their better-performing competitors.’
    • ‘As in other areas, free speech supporters will have to hope the government proceeds with a scalpel, and not a bludgeon.’
    • ‘They all started making films three decades or more ago, when documentaries were considered more than rhetorical bludgeons and instructional tools for the incurious and semi-literate.’
    • ‘On searching the house at Kimberworth where he resided at that time, three officers found a number of very formidable looking sticks or bludgeons and a large quantity of netting.’
    • ‘It acts on one like a bludgeon until one's sensibility is pummelled flat and one's heart goes dead.’
    • ‘Walking back to the Lokosphinx, we watch Army conscripts in greatcoats and fur-flapped caps breaking the ice with bludgeons and pouring hot water on the snow.’
    • ‘In any event, it passed, and though it had some negative effects, it has had more positive ones; and politically, it removed a huge bludgeon from the Republicans' hands.’
    • ‘The pairing seemed to spark off each other, one a bludgeon and the other more of a rapier.’
    • ‘Another small sound and the guard was on its feet with a bludgeon in its hand.’
    • ‘Knives, bludgeons and handguns are the weapons of kidnappers, not rifles, which are cumbersome, restricting, and inappropriate for violent situations in close quarters.’
    • ‘This is a ridiculous and reactionary practice that has morphed true humility into a bludgeon for the easily offended who are envious because of their own lack of skills and abilities.’
    • ‘I lunged at him, wielding the book like a bludgeon.’
    cudgel, club, stick, truncheon, baton, bat, heavy weapon, blunt instrument
    nightstick, blackjack
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  • 1 Beat (someone) repeatedly with a bludgeon or other heavy object.

    • ‘He was bludgeoned to death with the butt of a pistol on the Caribbean island of Margarita on Sunday, October 16.’
    • ‘Five of the penguins which were bludgeoned to death in a brutal attack on six penguins, two gannets and two pelicans at the East London aquarium on Sunday night.’
    • ‘And it is no secret Martha was bludgeoned to death.’
    • ‘Well, the police spokesman says that the boys were bludgeoned to death with what he called a blunt instrument.’
    • ‘Then his neighborhood turned ugly: a talk show host who lived nearby was bludgeoned to death in his sleep; residents stopped walking the streets after nightfall.’
    • ‘She was bludgeoned to death outside her home on December 30, 2001.’
    • ‘No one gets hurt - apart from two unfortunate eels that were bludgeoned to death on one of the evenings this writer was watching.’
    • ‘I mean, I just drew him being bludgeoned to death.’
    • ‘The grandmother was bludgeoned to death and left in the house, where her body was discovered the next day by a visitor.’
    • ‘I, on the other hand, unable to engage them in conversation without the fear of being bludgeoned to death by a giant toupeed trouser snake, told everybody on the street.’
    • ‘The victim's identity has not been disclosed, but it is thought he was bludgeoned to death.’
    • ‘Cats have been bludgeoned to death in front of farmers.’
    • ‘‘No more, no more,’ pleaded one protester, bleeding heavily from his face and head as up to three or four paramilitary police bludgeoned him remorselessly with heavy batons.’
    • ‘Detectives today urged the tenant of a York bedsit where two men were found bludgeoned to death to come forward.’
    • ‘Tuesday's march comes barely a week after a 17-year old school girl was bludgeoned to death by her teenage boyfriend’
    • ‘Mary, charmingly, has already had some traditional sealskin clothes made - we don't know if she chose the animals to be bludgeoned to death herself, or left it up to the experts.’
    • ‘I meant to post this yesterday, but apathy repeatedly bludgeoned me over the head with a large fluffy pillow.’
    • ‘If you told her that her entire family had been bludgeoned to death by a psychopath, she would smile. A smile is her default facial expression.’
    • ‘He was bludgeoned to death outside the nightclub.’
    • ‘A widow was bludgeoned to death as she sat down to her lunch at home in what appears to have been a motiveless attack.’
    batter, cudgel, club, strike, hit, beat, beat up, hammer, thrash
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    1. 1.1Force or bully (someone) to do something.
      ‘she was determined not to be bludgeoned into submission’
      • ‘He would be fired, bludgeoned into silence, or his funding would be yanked.’
      • ‘We need reminding, to be shown the proximity of the amazing digital wonder that we interface with, not bludgeoned into thinking that the screen and the chips and the coding are the flat, boxy equivalent of the newspaper.’
      • ‘Most of these civil societies have been bludgeoned into silence by their regimes, with even the more representative systems denying their citizens true political participation.’
      • ‘We are not prepared to be bludgeoned into accepting its half-developed plans.’
      • ‘That meant they couldn't be bludgeoned into staying ‘on message’ but could be encouraged to use their ingenuity and enthusiasm to devise ways of supporting the general thrust of the campaign.’
      • ‘She says the international community will not be bludgeoned into granting them refugee status.’
      • ‘Four songs into the set and the crowd hadn't been won over so much as bludgeoned into submission, utterly blown away by the band's impressive rock & awe assault.’
      • ‘What you are left with are faint traces of lyricist her fragile vocals, as if she too has been bludgeoned into submission by the swirl of his sustained sonic extremism.’
      • ‘It may work in a rough-and-ready way, since the governments represented on the security council will be bribed, blackmailed, browbeaten and bludgeoned into submission over the next fortnight.’
      • ‘What is needed is a critical mass that cannot be bludgeoned into submission.’
      • ‘I have nothing to hide, but I am still vulnerable and will be unable to speak openly until I am unable to be persecuted by departments bludgeoned into submission by our rogue government.’
      • ‘Mark was a State employee with no criminal history before he was indicted for a crime that he did not commit and now his family are finacially ruined and he has been bludgeoned into signing a plea bargain by the legal vampires.’
      • ‘The Argentine's waspish persistence and extraordinary retrieval made for some compelling rallies as he tried time and time again to bludgeon him into submission only to see the ball whistle back past his ears.’
      • ‘No one, however, has reported on the extent to which voters were bludgeoned into voting one way or another by various local thugs.’
      • ‘And most staff have to be bludgeoned into writing this material; anyone who volunteers and shows the real desire that he apparently has to cover it is likely to find it a great way to get ahead.’
      • ‘When employers don't follow his recommendations, he would like to know the reason why, but he doesn't want them bludgeoned into line’
      • ‘She said: ‘Members of the group do feel as if they are being bludgeoned into it.’’
      coerce, force, compel, press, pressurize, pressure, drive, bully, browbeat, hector, badger, dragoon, steamroller
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    2. 1.2Make one's way by brute force.
      • ‘One theory suggested he would attempt to bludgeon his way into American hearts by adopting the thudding beats and screaming guitars of metal.’
      • ‘Rather than trying to bludgeon our way through it, or try and ignore it, we need to work with it a bit.’
      • ‘The Swede has bludgeoned his way through the draw, dropping just one set on the way to the final, but while his metronomic consistency is remarkable, it doesn't make for thrilling viewing.’
      • ‘Leeds United bludgeoned their way back into Premiership title contention after an ugly battle against Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road.’
      • ‘Suddenly, the player who represents the hard inner core with which England have bludgeoned their way into world rugby's top three, has found himself caught up in a series of less appealing matters.’
      • ‘They are going to try to bludgeon their way through these poor poll numbers and convince people that he is a great president because he is so tough and strong.’
      • ‘In 1974, Jimmy Connors, a strutting young braggart who used his racket like a cudgel, bludgeoned his way to the final of Wimbledon.’
      • ‘In particular, Romania's try midway through the first half was a shock as they claimed the ball on an Australian throw then were able to bludgeon their way to the line.’
      • ‘Dunlea came close to adding to the try count, but was held up as he bludgeoned his way over the line.’
      • ‘Roddick then mis-hits a forehand miles out to trail 5-4 but bludgeons his way level on the next point, only to give Schalken a set point when he sends a simple volley into the net.’
      • ‘It certainly wasn't pretty as they attempted to bludgeon their way over the line time and time again only to be met by a stout Buccs defence.’
      • ‘He bludgeoned his way through arguments with arrogant bluster.’
      • ‘You had to blast, stab and bludgeon your way through a number of missions which involved exploding stores, shoplifting and killing.’
      • ‘I'd bludgeoned my way into their restaurant, forcing them to exchange food for money at a rate highly favorable to them!’
      • ‘Once they survived Sanft's penalty, they had to dig deep to defend their own try line as Kirkcaldy tried to bludgeon their way through.’
      • ‘From her hospital bed, for ‘three terrible days,’ Christina watched a drunken Joan bludgeon her way through live soap opera episodes.’
      • ‘They can't just bludgeon their way economically anymore.’
      • ‘He was maligned as a butcher - a heartless commander who simply bludgeoned his way to victory.’
      • ‘One of the most disappointing things was that we tried to bludgeon our way up field to make yardage instead of spreading the ball wide.’
      • ‘Since then, she has gone on to bludgeon her way to success, winning in Bratislava, Sydney and Croatia within the past six months, while reaching the semi-finals in Linz and Hanover.’
      force one's way, shoulder one's way, muscle, bludgeon one's way, plunge, crash, bulldoze, sweep, bundle, hustle, hurry, rush
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Mid 18th century: of unknown origin.