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 The whole mess started because the president’s bumbling son-in-law, well-rested after bringing peace to the Middle East (finally), took on the task of getting the private sector fired up to help fight the pandemic. Siva Vaidhyanathan, Wired, "Google Will Not Save Us From Coronavirus," 16 Mar. 2020 So perhaps the person bumbling into your personal space on the pavement isn’t a selfish monster after all. Lauren Bravo, refinery29.com, "Why Is Everyone Being A Bit Of A D*** Right Now?," 13 May 2020 This book by the editors of the blog Lawfare isn’t just another compendium of insider gossip and bumbling treachery. New York Times, "10 New Books We Recommend This Week," 13 Feb. 2020 Now, as then, the message discipline from Conservatives—in stark contrast to the initial, bumbling response to the outbreak—is overseen by Isaac Levido and Ben Guerin, the same strategists who pioneered Johnson’s election win. Samuel Earle, The New Republic, "Keep Calm and Carry On—Right Into a Pandemic," 22 Apr. 2020 Jim Parsons is a mercurial wonder as Henry Willson, the brutal, high-powered agent (and closeted homosexual) who turns bumbling Roy into marquee star Rock Hudson through sheer force of will (and compulsory dental work). Darren Franich, EW.com, "Hollywood review: Ryan Murphy's showbiz dramedy splits EW's critics," 29 Apr. 2020 This is all part of a strategy to show the Chinese system as superior while painting the United States as chaotic and bumbling in its response to the outbreak, analysts say. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Under fire over coronavirus response, China turns to a familiar fall guy: Trump," 13 Mar. 2020 Most Republicans believe that the nonstop media coverage of the coronavirus, and hits that the White House has bumbled the scare, are aimed at knocking President Trump, according to a new survey just released. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "60% of GOP say media using coronavirus as ‘tool to get Trump’: Rasmussen," 5 Mar. 2020 The Browns bumbled their way to the Patriots’ first touchdown as guard Joel Bitonio inadvertently kicked the ball out of the hand of running back Nick Chubb. BostonGlobe.com, "Symmetry, something to savor in Bill Belichick’s 300th win - The Boston Globe," 28 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for bumble

Time Traveler

The first known use of bumble was in 1533

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Statistics for bumble

Last Updated

14 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bumble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bumble. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bumble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bumble

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