First attested in 1730. Origin uncertain, perhaps of Cornish origin (recorded as blogon c. 1450) or from Middle French bougeon, a diminutive of bouge (club, stick).


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /blʌdʒ.ən/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌdʒən


bludgeon (plural bludgeons)

  1. A short, heavy club, often of wood, which is thicker or loaded at one end.
    We smashed the radio with a steel bludgeon.


See alsoEdit


bludgeon (third-person singular simple present bludgeons, present participle bludgeoning, simple past and past participle bludgeoned)

  1. (transitive) To strike or hit with something hard, usually on the head; to club.
    The apprehended rioter was bludgeoned to death.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, pages 16-17:
      Thomas Briggs, a senior bank clerk in the City, lived in Hackney, and on 9 July 1864 he was returning there by train from Fenchurch Street after a Saturday spent at work when he was bludgeoned to death in a first-class carriage, probably by a young German tailor named Franz Müller. (Let's hope it was Müller, because he was hanged for it.) And so Briggs was an all-round pioneer: an early commuter and the very first victim of a railway murder.
  2. (transitive) To coerce someone, as if with a bludgeon.
    Their favorite method was bludgeoning us with the same old arguments in favor of their opinions.


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  • bludgeon” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2021.