verb (1)
bum·​ble | \ˈbəm-bəl \
bumbled; bumbling\ˈbəm-​b(ə-​)liŋ \

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 \-​b(ə-​)lər \ noun

Examples of bumble in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Observers of the hearing wondered if Kavanaugh’s bumbling response was simply a ploy to avoid offering a damning response, while others suggested that the gambit was an effective way for Harris to generate buzz ahead of 2020. Li Zhou, Vox, "Kamala Harris’s mysterious Kasowitz question during the Kavanaugh hearings, explained," 6 Sep. 2018 An empty parking lot, students bumbling in and out of an attendance office, children bouncing a ball around a blacktop. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "What Littleton Learned," 1 Aug. 2018 In the first season, Jesse teamed up with Tulip and Cassidy against a pair of bumbling angelic agents—members of an organization called The Grail—sent to retrieve Genesis and bring it back to heaven. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Preacher ends third season with a pop, not a bang," 28 Aug. 2018 Grant is remarkable as British MP Jeremy Thorpe, who is arrested on charges of trying to have his ex-lover, a man (played by Ben Whishaw), murdered by some bumbling thugs. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "Hugh Grant does justice to ‘A Very English Scandal’," 11 July 2018 In all of these instances, these women are able to take the offensive roles thrust open them by the likes of a well-meaning but bumbling Sam and recreate the parts for themselves. refinery29.com, "If You Only Watch One Netflix Episode This Weekend, Make It This One From Glow," 6 July 2018 The new division of family labor is hard on Bob — their daughter, Violet (Sarah Vowell), has boy problems, for starters — but his Mr. Mom bumbling predictably gives way to heroic fatherhood. Brad Bird, New York Times, "Review: ‘Incredibles 2’ Is a Fast Blast (With Red Flags)," 13 June 2018 The chief perpetrator is boss Mr. Hart, played by a slimy and bumbling Scott Danielson. Marissa Oberlander, Chicago Reader, "Three women fight back against sexual harassment—1970s style—in 9 to 5 the Musical.," 19 Apr. 2018 Barry is just your average guy trying to making it in Hollywood, bumbling along in love and life while occasionally killing some people. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Killing Eve and the Riddle of Why Women Kill," 28 May 2018

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)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1532, 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

30 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for bumble

The first known use of bumble was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for bumble


bum·​ble | \ˈbəm-bəl \
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

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