Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

fumble

play
verb fum·ble \ˈfəm-bəl\

Simple Definition of fumble

  • : 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

Full Definition of fumble

fum·bledfum·bling play \-b(ə-)liŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 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

  3. 2 :  to feel one's way or move awkwardly

  4. 3 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

  5. transitive verb
  6. 1 :  to bring about by clumsy manipulation

  7. 2 a :  to feel or handle clumsily b :  to deal with in a blundering way :  bungle

  8. 3 :  to make (one's way) in a clumsy manner

  9. 4 a :  misplay <fumble a grounder> b :  to lose hold of (a football) while handling or running

fum·bler play \-b(ə-)lər\ noun
fum·bling·ly play \-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


2

fumble

noun fum·ble

Definition of fumble

  1. 1 :  an act or instance of fumbling

  2. 2 :  a fumbled ball




FUMBLE Defined for Kids

1

fumble

play
verb fum·ble \ˈfəm-bəl\

Definition of fumble

fum·bledfum·bling

  1. 1 :  to feel about for or handle something in a clumsy way <He fumbled in his pockets.>

  2. 2 :  to lose hold of the ball in football




2

fumble

play
noun fum·ble

Definition of fumble

  1. :  an act of losing hold of the ball in football





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up fumble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds 196.5 pounds 100 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ