Definition of blunder in US English:



  • A stupid or careless mistake.

    • ‘In other words, forgiveness is for real sin, not for foibles, mistakes, excusable blunders, and things we can't help.’
    • ‘No doubt, America has had some terrible foreign policy blunders - some real, others embellished or imagined.’
    • ‘It'll probably make him feel pretty good, knowing that he hadn't made such a stupid blunder.’
    • ‘There are people hired by filmmakers to check possible mistakes, but glaring blunders still get through.’
    • ‘On the other hand, there are too many lapses on the Government's part, if not deliberate mistakes, glaring errors and wanton blunders.’
    • ‘Even the later case in which the wife of a victim wasn't quarantined isn't a terrible blunder.’
    • ‘In an embarrassing blunder, it was mistakenly sent to the home of an elderly Swindon woman who shared the same name as the child's grandmother.’
    • ‘The council has now promised to withdraw the advert, blaming an administrative error for the blunder.’
    • ‘It is, say officials, so harshly critical, so voracious in its search for blunders or gaffes, that it has frightened politicians into a state of frozen neutrality.’
    • ‘Smith, believing that a goal had been given, blasted the ball into the net only to find out he had made a terrible blunder.’
    • ‘History books tell us that wars are messy, chaotic and even nations fighting just causes make horrid moral mistakes and battlefield blunders.’
    • ‘The error is the latest blunder to hit postal votes this week, fuelling fears of a number of post-electoral challenges because of doubts over the efficacy of the voting system.’
    • ‘Health chiefs, who described the blunder as an ‘oversight’, have been ordered by a sheriff to explain how up to 250 tissue slides were exchanged.’
    • ‘Look for mistakes, both obvious blunders as well as more subtle slips, errors that may subsequently emerge as campaign controversies.’
    • ‘They suffered from, I think, a kind of outcome bias, because there was a terrible loss of 7 astronauts, somehow there must have been a terrible blunder to have set them off.’
    • ‘At the start of the new millennium, the corporate world witnessed major fiascos and ethical blunders.’
    • ‘As a matter of fact this whole rising, if it could be called that, was a succession of blunders, mistakes and errors.’
    • ‘When she sits back down, my mouth makes one of its first and most terrible swift blunders.’
    • ‘The transcript is worth reading, if only because it confirms that the attack was a tragic blunder rather than an intentional act.’
    • ‘This provides the perfect setting for blunders, misunderstandings and utter confusion, as infidelity is revealed, with unexpected consequences.’
    mistake, error, gaffe, fault, slip, oversight, inaccuracy, botch
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[no object]
  • 1Make a stupid or careless mistake; act or speak clumsily.

    ‘the mayor and the City Council have blundered in an ill-advised campaign’
    ‘I blundered on in my explanation’
    • ‘A minute later he blundered when he attempted to bat down his opponent's delivery from 40 metres.’
    • ‘Wiping his sweaty palm on his jeans, he thought about the many times he had blundered in his attempts to ask girls out.’
    • ‘So concerned was she to kill the thing she blundered and her blade slipped.’
    • ‘She opened her mouth to say something but I blundered on, ‘I never thought I'd be able to be so happy.’’
    • ‘Still he blundered on until JP simply refused to answer any of his questions.’
    • ‘Yet this megalomaniac blundered on, boasting of an episode in his life that had best be referred to only in passing.’
    • ‘He used to say man has had his chance - man has bungled, man has blundered, man has built up a civilization of violence and war, of hatred and strife - the new civilization will be built by women.’
    • ‘‘What a book a Devil's Chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low and horridly cruel works of nature,’ Darwin wrote to a friend in 1856.’
    • ‘Of course, he has blundered on a couple of occasions this season and, at times, they have been costly.’
    • ‘If her opponent blunders, or if she comes off as equally capable, her campaign will get a big boost.’
    • ‘I couldn't really have blundered on anything quite as good as this.’
    • ‘He missed a tactic that would have given him a straight 2-pawn edge, then resigned in 35 moves when he blundered away his queen.’
    • ‘Meanwhile Randy blundered on about her un-professionalism and unreliability, finally she simply burst.’
    • ‘‘I meant what I said that day, Gareth,’ I blundered on, openly crying, something I never did.’
    • ‘It subsequently changed when it was recognized that the country had blundered on a variety of fronts.’
    • ‘I even sent some signed sheets of paper to England hoping that he blundered his moves by falsely handing my units over to him, it helped but he was not to be the danger.’
    • ‘Tactically speaking I think we blundered early on and never really recovered.’
    • ‘And it was ear-plugs that enabled me to win my game against the Russian Grandmaster when I failed to hear his draw offer and he blundered on his next move.’
    • ‘Some of your Democratic colleagues are insisting, at this point, that you blundered on both votes.’
    • ‘‘Well that day,’ she blundered on, ‘I knew he was going to dump you.’’
    make a mistake, be mistaken, err, be in error, misjudge, miscalculate, bungle, trip up, be wrong, get something wrong, be wide of the mark
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    1. 1.1 Move clumsily or as if unable to see.
      ‘we were blundering around in the darkness’
      • ‘The top is thin, metal, interlocking wires, but these interlock in such a way that the jagged edges stick free, presumably to snare or scratch anything stupid enough to blunder into it.’
      • ‘Consequently, they tragically blundered into a piece of terrain still held by the enemy.’
      • ‘To me, this paints a picture of a deeply insecure woman who had long since waved goodbye to the verge of paranoia and blundered into the chasm of abject delusion.’
      • ‘There are also complicated reasons why societies blunder into these mistakes.’
      • ‘FOR THE first half an hour, cinemagoers can be forgiven for thinking they have blundered into the wrong theatre.’
      • ‘She blundered into the path of the bus, then hurriedly dragged her little animals quickly back onto the pavement out of harm's way.’
      • ‘A myth has grown up that he blundered into his discovery and did not realise the true potential of penicillin, leaving others to exploit it.’
      • ‘I blundered past trees, and tripped over boulders that seemed determined to bring me to the ground.’
      • ‘We just blundered into this - I don't want to give you any impression at all that I or anyone else knows what we are doing.’
      • ‘One night, thinking to take a shortcut, we blundered into a red-light area.’
      • ‘One of the most important things will be to stop the two countries from blundering into conventional conflict without realising the risk.’
      • ‘A crude trawl of press coverage in November last year revealed a different story of doctors reportedly bungling, blundering, or groping their way through headlines for almost every day of the month.’
      • ‘It's all going swimmingly well, until a strange old hermit blunders in to their lives and infects one of them with a hideous bug that literally eats you alive.’
      • ‘To Henry, it seems that the whole world is a ‘conspiracy of the young’; a party he has blundered into, only to find that everybody else is already somehow acquainted with one another, and he knows nobody.’
      • ‘A stooped, blind old man blunders into the room and says: ‘Help, help me, they say I have no appointment today.’’
      • ‘I just blundered into it, but once I began to see how I would be free in the material, I was very happy.’
      • ‘So I slipped through the flies, blundered through the warren of half-remembered alcoves and out the stage door.’
      • ‘Like lions on the savannah and tigers in the jungle, compared to them, humans are huge, brutish, stupid things, blundering about life in the most destructive way possible.’
      • ‘If a mosquito blunders into one, it sizzles and makes a sparkle of flame; if you touch the wires yourself by mistake, you get a shock.’
      • ‘They did a bit of this and a bit of that, acquired a superb fund of tropical tales to tell, and eventually blundered into the real - estate business.’
      stumble, lurch, stagger, falter, flounder, muddle, struggle, fumble, grope
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Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin and related to blind.