Blockbuster – Meaning & Examples

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

What is a blockbuster? Blockbuster is a noun used to describe something that has become successful, usually a movie or book.

Let’s explore its meaning and origin in this article. Check out my examples showing how to use it in a sentence.

Blockbuster Meaning

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A blockbuster is a noun that refers to a book or movie that is very successful. Merriam-Webster also defines it as something that is notably expensive, effective, or extravagant. Its adjective form is blockbusting.

Have you watched Top Gun: Maverick? This movie is said to be a blockbuster. It’s the top-grossing movie of 2022, followed by Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

For example:

  • The movie was a Hollywood blockbuster during my teenage years.
  • Everyone is talking about the blockbuster book by Taylor Markle.
  • The movie actors gave a blockbusting performance last night.
  • She thinks that singers who later build acting careers cannot produce blockbusters.

Blockbuster Etymology

The noun blockbuster is a compound word for block and buster. Because it’s a closed compound word, it should not have a hyphen or space in between.

It originated in World War II when it was used as a term for a high-explosive, powerful bomb. A blockbuster could destroy large areas and ruin lives.

Later on, blockbuster became used in a figurative sense. It was used to describe powerful objects and events like sports teams and hail storms.

Only in 1954 did block-buster become a word to describe movies that grossed more than two million dollars. Max E. Youngstein, a United Artists executive, coined the term. The word eventually turned into a closed compound word.

Blockbuster is also associated with the home movie rental business named Blockbuster Video.

Blockbuster Synonyms

Here are some alternative terms for blockbuster.

  • Hit
  • Smash
  • Gem
  • Supernova
  • Supernova
  • Megahit
  • Success
  • Winner
  • Phenomenon
  • Prizewinner
  • Sensation
  • Jewel
  • Victory
  • Dandy
  • Triumph
  • Blue chipper
  • Corker
  • Natural
  • Jim-dandy

Is It Block Buster or Blockbuster?

The correct spelling is blockbuster. The noun blockbuster is a closed compound word.

Examples of Blockbuster in a Sentence

  • Candace Osmond’s newest Fantasy novel is being adapted for film and is predicted to be the next big blockbuster.
  • Thankfully the nostalgia factor still continues, thanks to the Twitter account called “The Last Blockbuster” documenting what it’s like to be, well, one of the last Blockbuster stores there is. For those of us unfamiliar with the name, Blockbuster Video was an American-based provider of home video and video game rental services. (Bored Panda)
  • Audiences have waited for over a decade to return to Pandora in Avatar: The Way of Water. So, has our patience paid off? The reviews for the blockbuster sequel are now in, and we begin with MovieWeb’s own Julian Roman, who urged us all to “experience Avatar: The Way of Water on the biggest 3D screen available,” and declared that the “visual effects are the best to date.” (Movie Web)
  • Brazil seeks to become the first team through to the World Cup semi-finals on Friday, while Argentina could set up a blockbuster all-South American clash if they get past the Netherlands. (NDTV Sports)

Blockbuster Summary

Now you know the rich history and definition of the word blockbuster. From becoming a highly explosive bomb to describing a successful movie, blockbuster is proof that language is continuously evolving.