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

somersault

noun som·er·sault \ˈsə-mər-ˌsȯlt\

Simple Definition of somersault

  • : a forward or backward movement of your body on the ground or in the air that is made by bringing your feet over your head

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of somersault

  1. :  a movement (as in gymnastics) in which a person turns forward or backward in a complete revolution along the ground or in the air bringing the feet over the head; also :  a falling or tumbling head over heels

somersault

intransitive verb

Examples of somersault in a sentence

  1. The gymnast turned a somersault.



Variants of somersault

also

summersault

\ˈsə-mər-ˌsȯlt\

Origin and Etymology of somersault

Middle French sombresaut leap, ultimately from Latin super over + saltus leap, from salire to jump — more at over, sally


First Known Use: circa 1530


SOMERSAULT Defined for Kids

1

somersault

noun som·er·sault \ˈsə-mər-ˌsȯlt\

Definition of somersault for Students

  1. :  a movement in which someone makes a complete turn by bringing the feet over the head



History for somersault

If you pay attention only to its sound, somersault is rather puzzling, because going head over heels has nothing to do with summer or salt. The spelling, however, suggests that the key to its history lies elsewhere. Somersault comes from a 16th-century French word sombresaut, made up of sombre or sobre, “over,” and saut, “jump.”


2

somersault

verb som·er·sault

Definition of somersault for Students

somersaulted

somersaulting

  1. :  to perform a movement in which a person makes a complete turn by bringing the feet over the head




Learn More about somersault


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

looking or feeling very sad

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

divulge defame beat placate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ