verb \ˈfəm-bəl\

: to search for something by reaching or touching with your fingers in an awkward or clumsy way

: to handle something in an awkward or clumsy way

sports : to fail to catch or hold the ball

fum·bledfum·bling \-b(ə-)liŋ\

Full Definition of FUMBLE

intransitive verb
a :  to grope for or handle something clumsily or aimlessly
b :  to make awkward attempts to do or find something <fumbled in his pocket for a coin>
c :  to search by trial and error
d :  blunder
:  to feel one's way or move awkwardly
a :  to drop or juggle or fail to play cleanly a grounder
b :  to lose hold of a football while handling or running with it
transitive verb
:  to bring about by clumsy manipulation
a :  to feel or handle clumsily
b :  to deal with in a blundering way :  bungle
:  to make (one's way) in a clumsy manner
a :  misplay <fumble a grounder>
b :  to lose hold of (a football) while handling or running
fum·bler \-b(ə-)lər\ noun
fum·bling·ly \-b(ə-)liŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of FUMBLE

  1. She fumbled in her pocket for her keys.
  2. They fumbled a good opportunity to take control of the market.
  3. He was hit hard and fumbled on the 20-yard line.
  4. He fumbled the ball on the 20-yard line.

Origin of FUMBLE

probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Swedish fumla to fumble
First Known Use: 1534



Definition of FUMBLE

:  an act or instance of fumbling
:  a fumbled ball

Examples of FUMBLE

  1. <played the entire piano piece without a single fumble>

First Known Use of FUMBLE


Other Field and Goal Sports Terms

crease, lateral, lax, overthrow, playbook, post, screen, scrum, secondary, ultimate


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Previous Word in the Dictionary: fumatorium
All Words Near: fumble

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