Definition of blunt instrument in English:

blunt instrument


  • 1A heavy object without a sharp edge or point, used as a weapon.

    • ‘This absolutely insane practice has more than once resulted in me being stuck in the lobby and desperately attempting to find a blunt instrument with which to remove the gum.’
    • ‘The stab wounds had an appearance consistent with their having been inflicted with a single edged knife. The scalp wounds had been caused by a blunt instrument.’
    • ‘There are all sorts of weapons that one can use, knives, clubs, whatever, but you can't outlaw knives or blunt instruments, they have too many other uses and are too easy to construct.’
    • ‘The gap year student was attacked with a heavy blunt instrument as she walked from the bus stop, and died yards from her house.’
    • ‘Weapon choice changed as well, with homicides committed with knives falling by 41 percent and homicides committed with blunt instruments, particularly bottles and chairs, dipping by more than 46 percent.’
    • ‘Several others, including two drivers, sustained lacerations after being beaten with blunt instruments, but were not admitted to hospital.’
    • ‘Why do they need to make the sound levels so much higher than any other material on the DVD to the point of causing my neighbors to pound on their ceilings and walls with blunt instruments?’
    • ‘Moments later the killer struck, hitting her with what police are describing as a heavy, blunt instrument.’
    • ‘It's now clear that among the thousands of dreadful casualties is one that is not to be mourned: the economic commandments Americans wielded like blunt instruments in their decade of boisterous triumphalism.’
    • ‘These techniques involve removal, repair of replacement of a diseased or damaged organ and make use of sharp or blunt instruments.’
    • ‘Sometimes, a sharp tool such as a chert flake was used, while other times blunt instruments such as torch canes or the artist's fingers were employed.’
    • ‘A group of yokels approach her, wielding blunt instruments.’
    • ‘More than 2,000 pieces of ammunition have also been dropped in at the county's police stations along with 29 other weapons, such as knives and blunt instruments.’
    • ‘They listed the common factors between the three incidents as first a motiveless unprovoked attack, second the indications that he is a lone attacker and third that his weapon appears to be a blunt instrument.’
    • ‘A bottle was a blunt instrument, then a sharp one.’
    • ‘In this study, a serious incident is defined as violence or threat of violence with weapons used such as shotguns, knives, blunt instruments, syringes, screwdrivers, hammers, furniture, eg, chairs.’
    • ‘When appropriate, sharp instruments were replaced with blunt instruments, several sharp instruments were blunted, and some sharp instruments were set apart, to be used only when requested.’
    • ‘He explained that the attack had been carried out with a knife, not a blunt instrument, and warranted more serious charges.’
    • ‘I mean, you want to talk about self-protection and stuff - well, you have kitchen knives, you have blunt instruments; you don't have to use a gun.’
    • ‘However, because some filmmakers wield their limited political views like blunt instruments is no argument against grappling with and criticizing the essential facts of social life, the facts that largely shape people's lives.’
    cudgel, club, stick, truncheon, baton, bat, heavy weapon
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An imprecise or heavy-handed way of doing something.
      ‘as a promotional method, direct mail has been a blunt instrument’
      • ‘Automation of existing techniques will only go so far, because another problem with 2D gels is that they are blunt instruments.’
      • ‘Music evokes in the listener the exact and unique shade of a feeling; words like ‘sadness’ or ‘joy’ are blunt instruments which signify mere generalities.’
      • ‘Used in this way, representational painting is a somewhat blunt instrument to wield in a complex debate already full of visceral and hysterical reactions on both sides.’
      • ‘But defamation is a very blunt instrument and a two-edged sword.’
      • ‘Many liberals seem to believe that these grim trends can be fought with tax and regulatory policy, but those are blunt instruments with plenty of drawbacks and unforeseen consequences.’
      • ‘False works do damage; they dull our perceptions, dilute our ability to understand an artist's contribution to society, and are usually no more than blunt instruments used for financial gain.’
      • ‘The available outcome measures are blunt instruments for assessing a complex condition.’
      • ‘Sanctions do make it appear that something is being done, but they are blunt instruments and, unless wielded with a heavy enough hand, rarely hurt the target's leadership.’
      • ‘Their software may be indeed turn out to be a necessity rather than a nice-to-have, but spending cuts are usually very blunt instruments, riding rough shod over long-term commercial arguments.’
      • ‘However, it is extremely important that options are kept open, that we proceed with caution in a rational manner, and that we do not resort to blunt instruments such as moratoriums.’
      • ‘We are finding that external controls are blunt instruments in particular cases and require a functioning internal morality to interpret them.’
      • ‘But human rights guidelines reserve censorship for only the most extreme cases because censorship itself is a blunt instrument that can be deadly.’
      • ‘That is, that by doing more and more of the same, that is by making our blunt instrument heavier and heavier, we are going to achieve something different.’
      • ‘However, past success has created the irony that - while there is recognition that monetary policy is a blunt instrument - there are calls for the Fed to use it with surgical precision.’
      • ‘Appraisal is a blunt instrument and as yet (despite being in operation for nearly three years) has probably not identified a single doctor whose performance is seriously deficient.’
      • ‘The third and final issue to be examined starts with the proposition that the military element of national power is a rather blunt instrument, not a precision tool.’
      • ‘The concept of ‘a link is a vote’ is a blunt instrument.’
      • ‘Overviews are also reductionist, blunt instruments.’
      • ‘Most of the propositions advanced by evolutionary psychologists are rather blunt instruments in the field, especially when it comes to emotions where nuance is often all.’
      • ‘Like any policy goal - eliminating unemployment or eradicating poverty - it is unachievable with the blunt instruments of government force.’