verb (1)
bum·​ble | \ ˈbəm-bəl How to pronounce bumble (audio) \
bumbled; bumbling\ ˈbəm-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce bumbling (audio) \

Definition of bumble

 (Entry 1 of 2)


verb (2)
bumbled; bumbling

Definition of bumble (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : blunder specifically : to speak ineptly in a stuttering and faltering manner
2 : to proceed unsteadily : stumble

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Other Words from bumble

Verb (2)

bumbler \ ˈbəm-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce bumbler (audio) \ noun

Examples of bumble in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For all of his bumbling verbosity and avuncular artlessness, Democratic front-runner Joe Biden serves as a remarkably elegant illustration of all that ails the Democratic Party’s bid to retake the White House in 2020. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, The New Republic, "The Destructive Politics of White Amnesia," 6 Aug. 2019 The coverage the two provided is decidedly amateurish, punctuated by bumbling mishaps. Timothy Mclaughlin, WIRED, "The Weird, Dark History of 8chan," 6 Aug. 2019 Bo Peep is the clear leader of the save-Forky expedition, with Woody her sometimes-bumbling sidekick. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Toy Story 4' doesn't need to exist, but in the end it's OK that it does," 15 June 2019 With his unruly mop of white-blond hair and bumbling personality, Boris Johnson is not exactly a forgettable figure. Stephanie Busari, CNN, "'Watermelon smiles' and 'piccaninnies': Boris Johnson on Africans," 23 July 2019 Another target for opprobrium is the government of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and especially members of his Foreign Ministry, who are portrayed as bumbling sellouts ready to negotiate Iran’s rights away. Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times, "Imagine ‘Homeland,’ if all the heroes were Iranian. That’s ‘Gando,’ must-see TV in Iran," 19 July 2019 That benign, bumbling lovability evaporated during the Brexit campaign. Cassie Werber, Quartz, "The terrifying appeal of Boris Johnson, according to a Johnson voter," 18 July 2019 Ben-Shmuel is the standby, or understudy, for the role of the well-meaning but bumbling Mormon missionary. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Bay Area actor goes cross-country with ‘Book of Mormon’," 7 July 2019 There is no mystery to probe, no conspiracy theory to prove, so Broomfield the bumbling provocateur is not necessary. Mark Olsen, latimes.com, "Indie Focus: Come away with 'Midsommar'," 5 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bumble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bumble

Verb (1)

1689, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1533, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for bumble

Verb (1)

Middle English bomblen to boom, of imitative origin

Verb (2)

perhaps alteration of bungle

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Statistics for bumble

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bumble

The first known use of bumble was in 1533

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More Definitions for bumble


bum·​ble | \ ˈbəm-bəl How to pronounce bumble (audio) \
bumbled; bumbling

Kids Definition of bumble

: to act, move, or speak in a clumsy way No more could he afford to be the silly little novice that had bumbled about the Abbey …— Brian Jacques, Redwall

More from Merriam-Webster on bumble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bumble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bumble

Comments on bumble

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


a period when something is suspended

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