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A flintlock blunderbuss


From Dutch donderbus (blunderbuss, literally thunder gun). Altered under the influence of blunder.



blunderbuss (plural blunderbusses)

  1. An old style of muzzleloading firearm and early form of shotgun with a distinctive short, large caliber barrel that is flared at the muzzle, therefore able to fire scattered quantities of nails, stones, shot, etc. at short range.
    • 1817, Merriweather Lewis & William Clark, Travels to the Source of the Missouri River, and Across the American Continent to the Pacific Ocean, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown (1817), page 354:
      We fired the blunderbuss several times by way of salute, and soon after landed at the bank near the village of the Mahahas, or Shoe Indians, and were received by a crowd of people, who came to welcome our return.
    • 1942, Carl G. Erich, "Flintlock Blunderbuss", Popular Science, June 1942:
      One of the most picturesque of the old flintlock guns is the blunderbuss, which was often carried by coach guards for protection against highwaymen.
    • 2007, Norm Flayderman, Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms, Gun Digest Books (2007), ↑ISBN, page 764:
      The blunderbuss never gained great favor in the American colonies or early United States.



blunderbuss (third-person singular simple present blunderbusses, present participle blunderbussing, simple past and past participle blunderbussed)

  1. (transitive) To shoot with a blunderbuss.

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