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Blunder   /blˈəndər/   Listen
Blunder

verb
(past & past part. blundered; pres. part. blundering)
1.
Commit a faux pas or a fault or make a serious mistake.  Synonyms: boob, drop the ball, goof, sin.
2.
Make one's way clumsily or blindly.  Synonym: fumble.
3.
Utter impulsively.  Synonyms: blunder out, blurt, blurt out, ejaculate.  "He blundered his stupid ideas"



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"Blunder" Quotes from Famous Books



... resolution for his impeachment; the Lords ordered that the case should be heard at their bar; and Westminster Hall was prepared to be the scene of a great public trial. At first Defoe, in heaping contemptuous ridicule upon the High-flying Doctor, had spoken as if he would consider prosecution a blunder. The man ought rather to be encouraged to go on exposing himself and his party. "Let him go on," he said, "to bully Moderation, explode Toleration, and damn the Union; ...
— Daniel Defoe • William Minto

... fingered his embryo moustache dubiously—conscious of a blunder in manners. This girl was a lady—not a mere country wench to joke with. He felt rather uncomfortable—and presently leaving his office, went out on the platform where she was walking up and down, ...
— Innocent - Her Fancy and His Fact • Marie Corelli

... a fifth-form boy at Grey Friars; might have some stupid humdrum notions about the metre and grammatical construction of a passage of Aeschylus or Aristophanes, but had no more notion of the poetry than Mrs. Binge, his bed-maker; and Pen grew weary of hearing the dull students and tutor blunder through a few lines of a play, which he could read in a tenth part of the time which they gave to it. After all, private reading, as he began to perceive, was the only study which was really profitable to a man; and he announced to his mamma that he should read by himself ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... determined Missouri senator approached Judge Douglas, then chairman of the Committee on Territories, and, by some incomprehensible influence, induced that distinguished senator to commit the flagrant and terrible blunder of reporting the Kansas-Nebraska bill, with a clause repealing the Missouri Compromise, and thus throwing open Kansas to the occupation of slavery. That error was grievously atoned for in the subsequent hard fate of Judge Douglas, who was cast off and destroyed by the ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I., No. IV., April, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... wrong time suggests the possibility that the owner might blunder similarly in his personal appearing. The neglect to send a card at a proper time is equivalent to a personal neglect. The man who comes himself and hands you his card also is apt to have too many elbows ...
— Etiquette • Agnes H. Morton

... deeply and reverently studied Scripture in our own times. To appeal to the views held by such men as decisive of the burning questions of the day, is like referring matters of grave import to the judgment of little children, instead of consulting men of ripe experience. We know what followed a similar blunder on the part of King Rehoboam. Yet how often is it repeated! It would seem that not only is "no prophet accepted in his own country," but ...
— One Snowy Night - Long ago at Oxford • Emily Sarah Holt

... element of national power; and from this he argues that the more "credit" a nation has—that is, the deeper it is in debt—the more powerful it becomes. In short, he confuses credit as opposed to discredit with credit as opposed to cash—a grievous blunder, surely. A nation's credit is like a merchant's; it becomes greater only as his debts become smaller; and people trust a government for the same reason as they trust an individual, mainly because every previous ...
— Scientific American, Volume XXXVI., No. 8, February 24, 1877 • Various

... with expectation. As soon as the fly had stopped at the little gate she heard his voice, and heard at once that it was quick, joyful, and telling much of inward satisfaction. He had a good-natured word for Janet, and called Thomas an old blunder-head in a manner that made ...
— Doctor Thorne • Anthony Trollope

... It's a work after my own heart. Your arrangement of the matter, I think, however, might be improved, and many of your notions remind me of Aristotle. That philosopher was one of my most intimate acquaintances. I liked him as much for his terrible ill temper, as for his happy knack at making a blunder. There is only one solid truth in all that he has written, and for that I gave him the hint out of pure compassion for his absurdity. I suppose, Pierre Bon-Bon, you very well know to what divine moral truth I ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 5 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... very nearly. And, what is a wiser and better thing, Can keep the living from ever needing Such an unnatural, strange proceeding, By showing conclusively and clearly That death is a stupid blunder merely, And not a necessity of our lives. My being here is accidental; The storm, that against your casement drives, In the little village below waylaid me. And there I heard, with a secret delight, Of your maladies physical and mental, ...
— The Golden Legend • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... with such breathless interest to the narration of the escapes of the elder warriors, and, in short, was so well schooled in the theory of his calling, that it was almost as impossible for him to make any gross blunder on such an occasion, as it was for a well grounded scholar, who had commenced correctly, to fail in solving his problem in mathematics. Relinquishing the momentary intention to land, the chief slowly pursued his course round the palisades. As he approached the moccasin, having now nearly ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... about the country boy that Merriwell liked. Frank quickly decided that Joe was a big-hearted, honest fellow, such a blunder-heels that he was certain to provoke ridicule, and yet thoroughly ...
— Frank Merriwell's Races • Burt L. Standish

... Savinien de Portenduere," cried Rastignac, "and has a future peer of France for a cousin and Admiral Kergarouet for a great-uncle, and commits the enormous blunder of allowing himself to be put in Sainte-Pelagie, it is very certain that he must not stay there, ...
— Ursula • Honore de Balzac

... definite task, fanatically followed to the exclusion of all minor considerations, breaks down. When the work is good, when we are sure we are all right, then we may carry off things with a high hand. But the work isn't always good, we aren't always sure. We blunder, we make a muddle, we are fatigued. Then the sacrificed affections come in as accusers. Then it is that we want ...
— The Secret Places of the Heart • H. G. Wells

... did change it, though, often afterward, men of clerkly attainments took me aside and kindly pointed out what they conceived to be a blunder. I have dwelt, perhaps tediously, upon this swap; my excuses are—first, that, having made few such good bargains during the days of my vanity, the memory is a pleasant one; and, second, that the horse will necessarily play a ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... an unnecessary suffering!" rather impatiently asserted Malcom. "If either had died, then the other might have borne it patiently and been just as noble. But such a blunder! I threw the book aside in disgust, for the author had absorbed me with interest, and I ...
— Barbara's Heritage - Young Americans Among the Old Italian Masters • Deristhe L. Hoyt

... The stranger detached a charm from a hidden chain and held it in his palm so that the clearer light fell upon it. "I command you to learn its peculiarities well. There must be no blunder." ...
— Then Marched the Brave • Harriet T. Comstock

... of the Richard, seeing the mass of prisoners delirious with sudden liberty and fright, pricked them with his sword to the pumps, thus keeping the ship afloat by the very blunder which had promised to have been fatal. The vessels now blazed so in the rigging that both parties desisted from hostilities ...
— Israel Potter • Herman Melville

... glass—it sent a shudder through every one, and mingled with the general gaiety an ill-omened foreboding. Disturbed and alarmed, the hearers wondered whether the instrument might not be out of tune, or the musician be making a blunder. Such a master had not blundered! He purposely kept touching that traitorous string and breaking up the melody, striking louder and louder that angry chord, confederated against the harmony of the tones; at last the Warden understood the master, covered his face in his hands, ...
— Pan Tadeusz • Adam Mickiewicz

... modern progress, and let them avoid what are the mere non-essentials of the present-day civilization, and, above all, the vices of modern civilized nations. Let these men keep open minds. It would be a capital blunder to refuse to copy, and thereafter to adapt to your own needs, what has raised the Occident in the scale of power and justice and clean living. But it would be a no less capital blunder to copy what is cheap or trivial or vicious, or even what is merely ...
— African and European Addresses • Theodore Roosevelt

... following up his advantage by promptly attacking the main army of the Imperialists, the French king dispatched a part of his force to Naples, and with the other turned aside to blockade the city of Pavia. This blunder enabled the Imperialists to reform their ranks and to march towards Pavia in order to join the besieged. Here on 24 February, 1525,—the emperor's twenty-fifth birthday,—the army of Charles won an overwhelming victory. ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... is governed by influence. It is governed by the ambitions and the enterprises which control votes. The young woman that thinks she is going to vote for the sake of holding an office is making an awful blunder. ...
— Acres of Diamonds • Russell H. Conwell

... but not until she had exhausted the means of defence and life. At that time, few men in America but were in the habit of denouncing the French President for his indifference to the Italian cause. He was charged with having been guilty of a blunder and a crime. His consent to the expedition to Rome aggravated his offence, for it was an act of intervention on the wrong side. But the passage of ten years enables us to be more just to him than it was possible for us to be in 1849. He was ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... You know I never meant that! You must have known that never could be! I never imagined you could make such a fantastic blunder! But then how should you know how we think about things! I must remember that, and not ...
— Home Again • George MacDonald

... by thunder! Be 't prudence or blunder, Gov's fondness for Tithe, or bad weather, or what, You're kept in the stable, though fit, ay, and able To lead the whole field and to win by a lot. A hunter I never bestrode half as clever! Tithe? Pooh! He's not in it, my beauty, with you. You've breed, style, ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100, March 21, 1891 • Various

... of his death, but I was prepared for it, and heard it from Lord Huntingdon. I am still more obliged to you for the trouble you have given yourself about King Richard. You have convinced me of Crescimbeni's blunder as to Rome. For Florence, I must intreat you to send me 'another copy, for your copyist or his original have made undecipherable mistakes; particularly in the last line; La Mere Louis is impossible to be sense: I should wish, ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... bed-sunning ceremony had been first observed? Just how were the ability to speak French in the most exclusive circles of Parisian society and a cultivated knowledge of every picture-gallery in the world going to keep me from making a blunder that would put me down in Mrs. Pennie Addcock's mind ...
— The Golden Bird • Maria Thompson Daviess

... cabinet; Sandwich at the Admiralty was grossly inefficient. There was not a single member of the Cabinet fitted to carry on war, or able to influence George III. For such a body of men to undertake to direct the operations in America {78} at the distance of 3,000 miles was a worse blunder than it would have been to commit the conduct of the war to any one of the generals in the field, however commonplace ...
— The Wars Between England and America • T. C. Smith

... battles, but all the solid advantages were with their opponents. A Union victory was so much achieved toward final and complete success; a Confederate victory only operated to postpone the subjugation of the Rebels for a few days, or perhaps weeks. We could afford to blunder, while they could not; and the prospect of the gallows made the brains of Davis and Lee uncommonly clear, and caused them to plan skilfully and to strike boldly, in order that they might get out and keep out of the road that leads ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 75, January, 1864 • Various

... the rear elevations of Frognall Street houses, and the mist was heavy besides; otherwise he had made shift to locate Number 9 by ticking off the dwellings from the corner. If he went on, hit or miss, the odds were anything-you-please to one that he would blunder into the servant's quarters of some inhabited house, and—be promptly and righteously sat upon by the service-staff, ...
— The Black Bag • Louis Joseph Vance

... nutritious food to be found anywhere. He was so anxious to do what was right, and so ready to believe that every one knew better than himself, that he never ventured to admit to himself that he might be all the while on a hopelessly wrong tack. It did not occur to him that there might be a blunder anywhere, much less did it occur to him to try and find out where the blunder was. Nevertheless he became daily more full of malaise, and daily, only he knew it not, more ripe for an explosion should ...
— The Way of All Flesh • Samuel Butler

... and the laborers in A will be thrown out of employment." The answer is, of course, that the state of things here contemplated is a permanent and normal one wherein production is correctly adapted to human desires. If A is found not to be wanted, after the production of it, an industrial blunder has been committed, and wealth is wasted just as when burned up. It is ill-assorted production. The trouble is not in a lack of demand for what A may produce (of something else), but with the producers of A in not making that for which there were desires, ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • John Stuart Mill

... soldiers, he let fall a word which was thought very ominous in the army; for "I am going," he said, "to break down the bridge, that none of you may return;" and whereas he ought, when he had perceived his blunder, to have corrected himself, and explained his meaning, seeing the men alarmed at the expression, he would not do it out of mere stubbornness. And when at the last general sacrifice the priest gave him the entrails, ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... she asked gently. And again, although she did not often blunder, she saw him wince. "I don't mean ambitious for yourself. But surely you have made a remarkable beginning at St. John's. Everybody admires and respects you, has confidence in you. You are so sure of yourself," she hesitated a moment, for she had never ventured to discuss religion with him, "of ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... you with inquiring eyes, with a mixture of phlegmatic coolness and curiosity, and partly as an exclamation, partly as an interrogation, utter the monosyllable "So!"? He would not be so much occupied in trying to parry the blunder gracefully as in thinking of its cause, with that love of sifting which involuntarily exhibits itself even in little things, or with that tendency to take even jokes gravely which originated the fable of Pope Joan, and led a learned commentator, in his ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 89, May, 1875 • Various

... is a shy man, and, no doubt, proud after his fashion. It must have taken a great effort—premature, therefore mistaken, according to my judgment—for him to screw himself up to the pitch of proposing for a girl of whose answering regard he was uncertain. Having made the blunder and paid the penalty, he is not at all likely to put his fate to the touch again, so far as Dora is concerned. He is not the style of pertinacious, overbearing fellow who would persecute a woman with his attentions ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Sarah Tytler

... and tongue of the serpent. Not, God knows, that the great Eve was any great shakes, for she left the world in a nice plight by falling in love with a serpent; but upon my credit she was not the first woman, excuse the blunder, who fell in love with a serpent, and suffered accordingly. I appeal ...
— The Evil Eye; Or, The Black Spector - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... dear to the Madigans. They seized upon each blunder she made, and held it up, shrinking and bare, under the light of their laughter-loving eyes. They ridiculed it interminably, and were unflaggingly entertained by it, repeating it for the edification of each new-comer so often and so faithfully ...
— The Madigans • Miriam Michelson

... when he's not talking to the rest and bid him look where I'm sitting. There's a shilling ready for you if you don't blunder." ...
— Madame Flirt - A Romance of 'The Beggar's Opera' • Charles E. Pearce

... was a man of business, and very forgetful, or he could not have made such a blunder as this. And there was Flaxie's new and elegant doll, Christie Gretchen, all packed in cotton, in a box by itself, on purpose to show ...
— The Twin Cousins • Sophie May

... decided upon a fixed policy, and he was not a man to flinch from consequences. Miss Deane must be taught to despise him, else, God help them both, she might learn to love him as he now loved her. So, blundering towards his goal as men always blunder where a woman's heart is concerned, he blindly persisted in allowing her to make such false deductions as she chose ...
— The Wings of the Morning • Louis Tracy

... intense suffering, she had an irresistible claim upon his compassion, her husband did not feel certain that even were Eva herself again Toni's tragic blunder would be repaired; and although he was fully determined to do all in his power to bring Eva's restless spirit peace, there was a possibility that she would return to life as callous, as ...
— The Making of a Soul • Kathlyn Rhodes

... say next; and not seeing his way clearly, puts you off with circumstantial phrases, and tries to gain time for fear of making a false step. This gentleman has heard some one admired for precision and copiousness of language; and goes away, congratulating himself that he has not made a blunder in grammar or in rhetoric the whole evening. He is a theoretical Quidnunc—is tenacious in argument, though wary; carries his point thus and thus, bandies objections and answers with uneasy pleasantry, and when he has the worst of the dispute, ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... Generals singing the Word of Command, and Ladies delivering Messages in Musick. Our Country-men could not forbear laughing when they heard a Lover chanting out a Billet-doux, and even the Superscription of a Letter set to a Tune. The Famous Blunder in an old Play of Enter a King and two Fidlers Solus, was now no longer an Absurdity, when it was impossible for a Hero in a Desart, or a Princess in her Closet, to speak anything unaccompanied ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... familiar signal, smiled again. Then leaning forward in his chair he said: "Jeff, I have been keeping my eye on you ever since those days when our line was building into Rubio City and you handled the right-of- way for us. I have never caught you in a blunder yet. When it comes to sizing up a proposition all around I don't believe you have an equal. Now look here." With a quick movement he took a paper from a pigeon-hole in his desk and laid it before the other. The paper ...
— The Winning of Barbara Worth • Harold B Wright

... her trials of the same character. Nothing ever annoyed her so much as a little blunder she made, the week after the opening of the session. I have not yet mentioned that there was already a universal dissatisfaction among the women, on account of their being liable to military service. The war seemed ...
— Beauty and The Beast, and Tales From Home • Bayard Taylor

... sometimes blunder on a lucky idee," answered Mr. Marble to one of my earnest representations, "and I've known chaps among 'em that were almost as knowing as dullish whites; but everything out of the common way with 'em is pretty ...
— Afloat And Ashore • James Fenimore Cooper

... ever. Why on earth should the doctor want a photograph of the Dane Oxbye to show the friends of Lord Harry? Could he have made a blunder as stupid as it was uncalled for? No one could possibly mistake the dead face of that poor Dane for the dead face of ...
— Blind Love • Wilkie Collins

... to convince Caroline that she is mistaken and that you are indifferent to Madame de Fischtaminel, would cost you dear. This is a blunder that no sensible man commits; he would lose his power and ...
— Analytical Studies • Honore de Balzac

... Prince Ivan was running and bounding behind the carriage. He knew well enough by this time what a blunder he had made, but there was no turning back for him. When the Princess Anna the Fair arrived in her kingdom, she set Prince Ivan to take care of the cows. Every day he went afield with the herd at early morn, and in the evening he drove them back ...
— Russian Fairy Tales - A Choice Collection of Muscovite Folk-lore • W. R. S. Ralston

... Beautrelet, and especially the idea that he would reach the castle at almost the same time as Massiban, for he feared some blunder on the part of that inexperienced man. He went back to his friend and spent the rest of the day with him. In the evening, he took the Brittany express and got out at Velines as ...
— The Hollow Needle • Maurice Leblanc

... Carleton was there. Fleda sat a little apart from the rest, industriously bending over a complicated piece of embroidery belonging to Constance, and in which that young lady had made a great blunder, which she declared her patience unequal to the task of rectifying. The conversation went gaily forward among the others, Fleda taking no part in it beyond an involuntary one. Mr. Carleton's part was rather reserved and grave, according to his ...
— Queechy, Volume II • Elizabeth Wetherell

... again: what had destiny done if she had, by some blunder, lured Epicurus, or Marcus Aurelius, or Antoninus Pius into the snares that she laid around Oedipus? I will even assume that she might have compelled Antoninus, for instance, to murder his father, and, all unwittingly, ...
— Wisdom and Destiny • Maurice Maeterlinck

... a fatal blunder, the blunder of a people who had been so blinded by materialism that they do not seem to have so much as the consciousness that there is such a thing as moral strength on earth. No one who had followed with intelligent understanding the career of President Wilson could ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... British cause was well served by Germany's initial blunder; by the huge mistake which cost her four-fifths of her naval strength at a blow. This mistake in Germany's policy was distinctly traceable to one cause: the national arrogance which, since the invasion, had approached near to madness; which had now ...
— The Message • Alec John Dawson

... whole it may not be the wiser plan to write about the Origins of Religion in the style which might suit a study of the life of ballet dancers; the two MM. Halevy, the learned and the popular, would make a blunder if they exchanged styles. Yet Gibbon never denies himself a jest, and Montesquieu's Esprit des Lois was called L'Esprit sur les Lois. M. Renan's Histoire d'Israel may almost be called skittish. The French are more tolerant of those excesses than the English. It is a digression, ...
— How to Fail in Literature • Andrew Lang

... ten deer carcasses, and perhaps an elk or a mountain sheep as well. I never became more than a fair hunter, and at times I had most exasperating experiences, either failing to see game which I ought to have seen, or committing some blunder in the stalk, or failing to kill when I fired. Looking back, I am inclined to say that if I had any good quality as a hunter it was that of perseverance. "It is dogged that does it" in hunting as in many other things. Unless in wholly exceptional cases, ...
— Theodore Roosevelt - An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... on his part spoke, and told his version of the story, whereof Arthur and little Fan were the hero and heroine; how they had met by no contrivance of the former, but by a blunder of the old Irishman, now in bed with a broken shin—how Pen had acted with manliness and self-control in the business—how Mrs. Bolton was an idiot; and he related the conversation which he, Bows, had had with Pen, and the sentiments ...
— The History of Pendennis, Vol. 2 - His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy • William Makepeace Thackeray

... absinthe, fantastic ideas beat stupidly upon his brain, like bats that blunder against a lamp and extinguish it with foolish, flapping wings. He thought that somehow the enemy must have stolen a march upon the defenders: that the hated Arabs had got into the tower, from a ladder raised outside the wall, and that soon they would be pouring down in a swarm. Before he knew ...
— The Golden Silence • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... the surrender was a great blunder, and was caused by a misunderstanding. Major Adye was much put out. The white flag was not hoisted by ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 2 (of 6) - From the Commencement of the War to the Battle of Colenso, - 15th Dec. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... blunder and bitterness comes wisdom. Men are taught through reaction, and all experience that does ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 9 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers • Elbert Hubbard

... great charms of Livingstone's character, and one of the secrets of his power—his personal interest in each individual, however humble—appeared in connection with Shobo, the Bushman guide, who misled them and took the blunder so coolly. "What a wonderful people," he says in his Journal, "the Bushmen are! always merry and laughing, and never telling lies wantonly like the Bechuana. They have more of the appearance of worship than any of the Bechuana. When will these dwellers in the wilderness bow ...
— The Personal Life Of David Livingstone • William Garden Blaikie

... Louise, perfectly composed and in no wise distracted by her surroundings or the music of the orchestra and the perpetual buzz of conversation in the crowded rooms, impressed each individual upon her memory clearly, and was not likely to blunder in regard to names or individuality in the future. This is a rare talent, indeed, and scores, largely in one's favor; for no one likes to think himself so unimportant as to be ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society • Edith Van Dyne

... is raised by authority above what it will yield with a profit to the buyer, that commodity will be the less dealt in. If a second blundering interposition be used to correct the blunder of the first, and an attempt is made to force the purchase of the commodity (of labour for instance), the one of these two things must happen, either that the forced buyer is ruined, or the price of the product of the ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... affirmed Mr. Croyden. "It is a matter of equality. In fact, it would be hard to tell which of the two is the more indebted to the other—the employer or the employee. It is in this spirit that I try to run this great plant. I blunder, it is true; I suppose we all do that. But I sincerely believe labor should have an honored place, and so far as I am concerned I give it one. If I had a boy," Mr. Croyden's voice faltered, "If I had a boy," he repeated more firmly, "he should be brought ...
— The Story of Porcelain • Sara Ware Bassett

... first consideration of them, be imagined. The Veterinary Surgeon has a long list of them, suited to the wants and dangers, imaginary or real, of his patients; and he who is not scientifically acquainted with them, will occasionally blunder in the choice of remedies, or the application of the means of cure which he adopts. Little attention may, perhaps, be paid to the medical treatment of the dog; yet it requires not a little study and experience. I will endeavour to give a short account of ...
— The Dog - A nineteenth-century dog-lovers' manual, - a combination of the essential and the esoteric. • William Youatt

... to Sylvia, save that he admitted being tired or having a headache, when she sought to enliven him, to draw him up to her own plane of merriment. He was reminding himself every hour of the night and day that he must make no irretrievable blunder, that he must do nothing to injure his wife needlessly. Appearances were against her, but possibly ...
— Children of the Desert • Louis Dodge

... meticulous exactness (Rabelais' geography is irreproachable, and he carefully avoids the cheap expedient of making Spadassin and Merdaille blunder) and the sagest citations of Festina lente, they take him through Asia Minor to the Euphrates and Arabia, while the other army (that which has annihilated Grandgousier) comes round by the northern route, sweeping all Europe from Brittany and the British ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 - From the Beginning to 1800 • George Saintsbury

... young man, "you see, you were very ill when you came from Naples, but your condition was not, I warrant, by any means so dangerous but that a few simple remedies would soon have set you, with your strong constitution, on your legs again, had you not through Carlos's well-intentioned blunder in running off for the nearest physician fallen into the hands of the redoubtable Pyramid Doctor, who was making all preparations for bringing ...
— Weird Tales. Vol. I • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... "O our god, Kihanuilulumoku, see to this lawless one, this mischief-maker, this rogue of the sea; if they send a force here, slaughter them all, let no messenger escape, keep on until the last one is taken, and beware of Kalahumoku, Aiwohikupua's great strong dog;[52] if you blunder, there is an end of us, we shall not escape; exert your strength, all your godlike might over Aiwohikupua. Amen, it is finished, flown away." This was Kahalaomapuana's charge ...
— The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai • Anonymous

... I don't mean that we should repeat the blunder of last night. You may be sure he won't keep it in his ...
— In A New World - or, Among The Gold Fields Of Australia • Horatio Alger

... man, when he realized the appalling effects of his blunder, gave free play to his emotion. Such sensitiveness is rare indeed in a German, and redounds entirely to ...
— World's War Events, Vol. I • Various

... was very fine indeed; and its performance, like that of the principal singers, proceeded without a flaw or blunder ...
— Music and Some Highly Musical People • James M. Trotter

... in besieging Sebastopol, and Omar Pasha's Transcaucasian campaign was undertaken too late for any effective result. Mr. Baddeley considers that in neglecting their opportunity of backing Shamil the Allies made a strategic blunder; yet we agree with him that this is not to be regretted. For the credit of civilisation it is well that they did not let loose the savage Mohammedan fanatics upon Christian Georgia and the peaceful Russian settlements beyond the frontier, to ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... bigger it gets, the more stupid I get. The case is so hopeless, and I feel that I am wallowing in such a bog of nonsense, that I give up all idea of getting out, and abandon myself to my fate. The despairing way in which my mother and I look at each other, as I blunder on, is truly melancholy. But the greatest effect in these miserable lessons is when my mother (thinking nobody is observing her) tries to give me the cue by the motion of her lips. At that instant, Miss Murdstone, who has been ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... is, my dear sir," he said, becomin again affable, to reconcile me, I suppose, to the unfortunate blunder, an' speakin wi' great volubility, "my name is Smith, which, I suppose, is yours too, sir. I'm from London. Now, you see, my dear sir, my brother Bob, who lives in Ireland, and whom I haven't seen for some years, was to have met me here last night, ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume III • Various

... seems to blunder still worse. She takes an egg which we suppose is going to turn into a frog, and she brings out of it a tadpole—neither fish, flesh nor fowl nor anything else. After a while the tadpole gets legs and has a long tail; it must lose that tail in order to become ...
— Parent and Child Vol. III., Child Study and Training • Mosiah Hall

... nothing for any phase of the public good. But a word further concerning the expedition in general. The sending of troops to Utah was part of a foul scheme to weaken the government in its impending struggle with the secessionists. The movement has been called not inaptly "Buchanan's blunder," but the best and wisest men may make blunders, and whatever may be said of President Buchanan's short-sightedness in taking this step, even his enemies do not question his integrity in the matter. He was unjustly charged with favoring secession; ...
— The Story of "Mormonism" • James E. Talmage

... since the days of Henry II. As Henry II lived in the twelfth century, and as neither Coleridge nor Wordsworth ever refer to the language of Henry II as their standard, the statement in the text may probably be considered as a blunder ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... enthusiastic over him. The Duc d'Orleans asked the price of the picture. The clergy told Madame la Dauphine that the subject was suggestive of good thoughts; and there was, in truth, a most satisfying religious tone about it. Monseigneur the Dauphin admired the dust on the stone-floor,—a huge blunder, by the way, for Fougeres had painted greenish tones suggestive of mildew along the base of the walls. "Madame" finally bought the picture for a thousand francs, and the Dauphin ordered another like ...
— Pierre Grassou • Honore de Balzac

... men are eternally inventing new systems of education, and yet persevering in the old. How many years ago is it since Fichte predicted in the system of Pestalozzi the regeneration of the German people? What has it done? We admire, we praise, and we blunder on in the very course Pestalozzi proves to be erroneous. Certainly," continued the student, "there must be some radical defect in a system of culture in which genius is an exception, and dulness the result. Yet here, in ...
— The Pilgrims Of The Rhine • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... general testimonials as to ability which recommend a man almost equally for any grade or position. Of special aptitude or scientific training he possessed no pretension, and his selection was a fatal blunder. In saying this, there is no reflection on the private character of the mistaken leader; he paid for the wrong estimation he held of his own fitness with his life, and the fault rests with those who placed him in a position where he also was responsible for ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc

... Mary was absent nearly a week. When she returned she had much to tell. She had visited Mr. Green at his office on Commercial Street. His surprise and embarrassment were all that she had prophesied. He offered profuse apologies for his blunder ...
— Mary-'Gusta • Joseph C. Lincoln

... unattractive deceptive features, it has no individual comeliness—not an atom of grace, no style of its own. Every feature, attitude and movement is subordinate to the part it plays. Death being the penalty, it may not blunder. Behold, among acres of similar growth, a trivial collection of rough, short weeds of the sea—grey, green and mud-coloured. This microcosm glides and stops. The movement is barely perceptible; the intervals of rest long and frequent. ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... only nod, but snore. Thus does Teufelsdroeckh, wandering in regions where he had little business, confound the old authentic Presbyterian Witchfinder with a new, spurious, imaginary Historian of the Brittische Journalistik; and so stumble on perhaps the most egregious blunder ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... Master of Appeals, with an appointment as Royal Commissioner to a commercial association established in the Nivernais, at a salary of six thousand francs, an absolute sinecure. So the worthy La Baudraye, who was supposed to have committed a financial blunder, had, in fact, done very good business in the choice of ...
— The Muse of the Department • Honore de Balzac

... grin because one's fingers blunder with eagerness," hiccoughed Margot, thinking his laughter was for the trouble she had in getting the fastenings of her bodice undone. "Peste, monsieur! may not a lady well be modestly careful when—— Name ...
— Cleek, the Master Detective • Thomas W. Hanshew

... looks toward the house. Yes, it is handsome, grand. Youth and age together did not make any blunder of it. There is the tower, that was to be his study and library and place of resort generally. What crude dreams he had in those days! Science and poesy, art and history, were all a sad jumble in his brain, and now he has found his life-work. He hopes that he may make the world a little ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... to see Dick's mother and sister rise, also, and turn to Nell with dark, proud, searching eyes. Belding vaguely realized some blunder he had made. Nell's white, appealing face gave him a pang. What had he done? Surely this family of Dick's ought to know his relation to Nell. There was a silence that positively ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... Shakspeare, who towers above them all. We have yet to discover an editor capable of doing him full justice. Some of Johnson's notes are very amusing, and those of recent editors occasionally provoke a smile. If once a blunder has been made it is persisted in. Take, for instance, a glaring one in the 2nd part of Henry IV., where, in the apostrophe to sleep, "clouds" is substituted ...
— Notes & Queries 1849.11.17 • Various

... feelings upon one part, where you have tickled with a feather when you should have branded with a red-hot iron. You will guess I mean the Convention of Cintra. My detestation, I may say abhorrence, of that event is not at all diminished by your account of it. Buonaparte had committed a capital blunder in supposing that when he had intimidated the Sovereigns of Europe he had conquered the several Nations. Yet it was natural for a wiser than he was to have fallen into this mistake; for the old despotisms had deprived the ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... you are acquainted, for the sake of acknowledging my great fault and of assuring you that I did not go unpunished. It would be useless for me now to attempt to explain to you the circumstances which led me into that difficulty which ended in so great a blunder; but I will ask you to believe that my folly was greater ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... agreeable feeling when he thought that the priests had blundered. He determined to keep them in that blunder for the future; hence he amused ...
— The Pharaoh and the Priest - An Historical Novel of Ancient Egypt • Boleslaw Prus

... impudence to spoon on my sister Zoe. That was my fault, not hers. He was an old college acquaintance, and I gave him opportunities—I deserve to be horsewhipped. However, I am not going to commit the same blunder twice. My sister is in your neighborhood ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... about to polish a period, you may be certain of some gross defect in propriety or meaning: So the lines just quoted seem to run easily over the tongue: and, upon examination, they are perfect nonsense and blunder: To speak in his own borrowed phrase, what is contained in the idea of established? Surely, not existence. Doth establishment give being to a thing? He might have said the same thing of Christianity in general, or the existence of God, since both are confirmed by acts of parliament. But, the ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. III.: Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Vol. I. • Jonathan Swift

... however, the career of treason once commenced, its authors can never recede. Their only safety lies in complete success. They must conquer or die. They may in secret confess to themselves that they have been guilty of a stupendous blunder, but that they clearly comprehend and sternly accept their position is abundantly evident. For, if anything is proved in the history of this war, it is, that the chiefs in the Rebellion believe in no middle ground between peace on ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... by sending for d'Arthez's books, of which she had never, as yet, read a single word, although she had managed to maintain a twenty minutes' eulogism and discussion of them without a blunder. She now read them all. Then she wanted to compare these books with the best that contemporary literature had produced. By the time d'Arthez came to see her she was having an indigestion of mind. Expecting this visit, she had daily made a toilet of what may be called the ...
— The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan • Honore de Balzac

... to her; and though she probably told the General, he never afterwards alluded to the episode. Indeed, Cecil's labours at Scutari were rather a tabooed subject, as Harry speedily discovered when one day he attempted to blunder out his gratitude ...
— Bluebell - A Novel • Mrs. George Croft Huddleston

... to talk to me of an oath, which, under all possible circumstances, is to prevent the relaxation of the Catholic laws! for such a solemn appeal to God sets all conditions and contingencies at defiance. Suppose Bonaparte was to retrieve the only very great blunder he has made, and were to succeed, after repeated trials, in making an impression upon Ireland, do you think we should hear any thing of the impediment of a coronation oath? or would the spirit of this country tolerate for an hour such ministers, and such unheard-of nonsense, if the most distant ...
— Peter Plymley's Letters and Selected Essays • Sydney Smith

... Socrates under the rule by a minor proposition—viz. Socrates is a man—we are able mediately to connect him with the predicate of that rule, viz, ergo, Socrates is mortal.[Footnote: The ludicrous blunder of Reid (as first published by Lord Kames in his Sketches), and of countless others, through the last seventy or eighty years, in their critiques on the logic of Aristotle, has been to imagine that such illustrations of syllogism as these were ...
— Theological Essays and Other Papers v1 • Thomas de Quincey

... concerned in a Bourbon plot to assassinate the Emperor Napoleon; was seized in the neutral territory of Baden, brought to Vincennes, and, after an inconclusive and illegal trial, shot by Napoleon's orders, a proceeding which gave rise to Fouche's remark, "It is worse than a crime—it is a blunder" (1772-1804). ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... to Exon, By special direction, Came down the world's wonder, Sir Salathiel Blunder, With a quoif on his head As heavy as lead; And thus opened ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... the price of any progress made in her gardening, for the moment her eyes were taken off the workmen they committed some provoking blunder that often undid the work of weeks. "As all the men were off with the cart," she writes, "I thought I might as well let Ben plant corn, which he assured me he understood perfectly, for had he not planted all the first lot which had failed through the depredations of the rats? At about ...
— The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson • Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez

... marauding bee Made desperate by hungry fears, From gorgeous If to dark Perhaps I blunder down the ...
— More Songs From Vagabondia • Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey

... divided at the fess point by something like an inverted chevron, from the arms of Clare Hall, which thus occupy the upper half of the shield. The date is 1713. Is this way of dividing the arms a blunder of the painter's, or can any of your readers point out a ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 203, September 17, 1853 • Various

... we hear them shouting; every time we blunder against their limits or stretch out to any ...
— The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth • H.G. Wells

... women. As soon as we meet a Russian, an Italian, a Swede, a Spaniard, or an Englishwoman with a pretty face, we immediately fall in love with her. We enthuse over everything which comes from outside—clothes, hats, gloves, guns and—women. But what a blunder! ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... "And let us blunder on in our official stupidity and blindness?" interrupted the commissioner, a faint smile breaking the gravity of his face. "We certainly ...
— The Lamp That Went Out • Augusta Groner

... not play pieces that are away beyond your grasp. This is the greatest fault in our American musical educational systems of to-day. Pupils are permitted to play works that are technically impossible for them to hope to execute without years of preparation. What a huge blunder this is! ...
— Great Pianists on Piano Playing • James Francis Cooke

... anything better than this Old world in the way it began; And though some matters have gone amiss From the great original plan, And however dark the skies may appear, And however souls may blunder, I tell you it all will work out clear, For good lies ...
— Poems of Sentiment • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... misunderstood our Lord's warning 'against the leaven of the Pharisees,' which they supposed to have been occasioned by their neglect to bring with them bread. Their blunder was like many others which they committed, but it seems to have singularly moved our Lord, who was usually so patient with His slow scholars. The swift rain of questions, like bullets rattling against a cuirass, of which my text is one, shows how much He was ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Mark • Alexander Maclaren

... render it all the more alarming. This is the ordinary form of punishment for a grave offence against custom: violence is rare, and when resorted to is intended (except in [96] some extraordinary cases presently to be noticed) as a mere correction, the punishment of a blunder. In certain rough communities, blunders endangering life are immediately punished by physical chastisement,—not in anger, but on traditional principle. Once I witnessed at a fishing-settlement, a chastisement ...
— Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation • Lafcadio Hearn

... me with any message you may have to send," replied Hsiao Hung with a laugh. "I'll readily go and deliver it. Should I not do so faithfully, and blunder in fulfilling your business, my lady, you may visit me with any punishment your ladyship may please, and I'll ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... Laura in the church of St. Clair on a Good Friday, 6th April, 1327, it has been recently attempted to be shown is a forgery. By calculation, it appears that the 6th April, 1327, fell on a Monday! The Good Friday seems to have been a blunder of the manufacturer of the note. He was entrapped by reading the second sonnet, as it appears ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... blunder any more than you did. I'd like to know who first made his acquaintance, and ...
— The Boy from the Ranch - Or Roy Bradner's City Experiences • Frank V. Webster

... wars, shall be the least glorious; it is manifestly being decided not by victories but by blunders. It is indeed a history of colossal stupidities. Among the most decisive of these blunders, second only perhaps of the blunder of the Verdun attack and far outshining the wild raid of the British towards Bagdad, was the blunder of the Trentino offensive. It does not need the equipment of a military expert, it demands only quite ordinary knowledge and average intelligence, to realise the folly of that Austrian adventure. ...
— War and the Future • H. G. Wells

... hands of the whole affair," he stated in accents of finality. "I refuse. I shall go, and you can do as you will,— blunder on," scornfully, "with your nitroglycerin, your rags, and drills and—and rouse the ...
— The Brass Bowl • Louis Joseph Vance

... would be to admit that the decision of last week was wrong. I, of course, refused to go. I should have had to defend any policy that Spencer chose to adopt without having a voice in it. Acceptance would not have been only a personal mistake; it would have been a political blunder. Outside the Cabinet I should not have had the public confidence, and rightly so, because I could not have had a strong hand. I should have inherited accumulated blunders, and I was under no kind of obligation to do so, ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke V1 • Stephen Gwynn

... letters in a strange language, and from the feeling of his coat I judged others were hid—sewed in it, so I fetched it back to her—the young one. You thought I was long gone, and there was where you made the blunder. How did you suppose I came by the pack ...
— The Eye of Dread • Payne Erskine

... should be, The tongue of the people in the mouth of the scholar. We intend here no assent to the early theory, or, at any rate, practice, of Wordsworth, who confounded plebeian modes of thought with rustic forms of phrase, and then atoned for his blunder by absconding into a diction more Latinized than that of any poet of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... tolerably well established both in school and at Mrs. Crane's. Julia was perfectly delighted with her new quarters, for she said "everything was in style, just as it should be," and she readily adopted all the "city notions." But poor Fanny was continually committing some blunder. She would forget to use her napkin, or persist in using her knife instead of her four-tined silver fork. These little things annoyed Julia excessively, and numerous were the lectures given in secret to Fanny, who would laugh merrily ...
— Tempest and Sunshine • Mary J. Holmes

... Napoleonic Wars; the war of 1812 between the United States and England; and the general revolt of the Spanish colonies. The world was learning new lessons, adopting new policies, in which the Spanish colonial system was a blunder the folly of which Spain did not even then fully realize. Yet from it all, by one means and another, Cuba benefited. Spain was fortunate in its selection of Governors-General sent out at this time. Luis de Las Casas, who arrived in ...
— Cuba, Old and New • Albert Gardner Robinson

... Pierce undertook to explain matters. Minor presumed that the artilleryman had made an actual blunder and was only enabled to correct it by a countermarch, and so rode back to his position in front of the centre of the reforming line, convinced that at last he had caught ...
— Waring's Peril • Charles King

... not. Applegate had a posse out there right away. You know Applegate. He'd blunder if he had a chance. His boys have milled all over the place and destroyed any trail ...
— Gunsight Pass - How Oil Came to the Cattle Country and Brought a New West • William MacLeod Raine

... dogs as fought with Nelson at Trafalgar and the Nile. Foreigners largely man the merchant ships, though Englishmen still continue to officer them and to prefer foreigners for'ard. In South Africa the colonial teaches the islander how to shoot, and the officers muddle and blunder; while at home the street people play hysterically at mafficking, and the War Office lowers the ...
— The People of the Abyss • Jack London

... "and quite worthy of your closest observation. You see that on the under part of each step is a sentence quite perfectly spelt; but this, of course, cannot be seen when the ladder is placed by a wall. On the upper part appears the same sentence, but with many a blunder in it to try your powers of recollection. You must study the ladder well before you attempt to mount it, and get the right spelling fixed in your mind, so as to make no mistakes. Then, before putting your foot ...
— The Crown of Success • Charlotte Maria Tucker

... born healthy, he had been born rich—and during the whole course of his long life he had remained rich and healthy; he had never committed a single crime; he had never stumbled into any blunder; he had not made a single slip of ...
— A Reckless Character - And Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... occurrence. If, on the contrary, it be caused by an event, that which has been occasioned by anything human, by the co-operation of human circumstances, can be, and invariably is, removed by the same means. Grief is the agony of an instant; the indulgence of Grief the blunder of a life. Mix in the world, and in a month's time you will speak to me very differently. A young man, you meet with disappointment; in spite of all your exalted notions of your own powers, you immediately sink under it. If your belief of your powers were sincere, you should have ...
— Vivian Grey • The Earl of Beaconsfield

... out her hand to him across the counter, and he took and held it tight; he had never seen her looking sweeter, nor felt that she was half so dear to him. After all, his blunder had brought them together again, and he ...
— The Tinted Venus - A Farcical Romance • F. Anstey

... of campaign material in the testimony collected by the Joint Committee, in the reports of the Freedmen's Bureau, and in the bloody race riots which had occurred in Memphis and New Orleans. The greatest blunder of the Administration was Johnson's speechmaking tour to the West which he called "Swinging Around the Circle." Every time he made a speech he was heckled by persons in the crowd, lost his temper, denounced Congress and the radical leaders, and conducted himself in an undignified ...
— The Sequel of Appomattox - A Chronicle of the Reunion of the States, Volume 32 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Walter Lynwood Fleming



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