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

Police have released video of a man who stumbled and bumbled his way through a Dollar General store, stealing cigarettes, alcohol, food, electronics and other items. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com, "Columbus police release video showing clumsy ‘Bobcat’ burglar stumbling through Dollar General," 14 Aug. 2019 Gene Stupnitsky’s new film, which follows three middle schoolers bumbling their way through a crazy night, balances dirty jokes with insight. 12:55 PM ET The title of Good Boys is not a misnomer. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Good Boys Is a Raunchy but Sweet Comedy," 12 Aug. 2019 Enchanting poetry, love run amuck, bumbling comedy, and fanciful antics under the summer stars combine for a perfect night at Marin County's only professional Shakespeare company, now celebrating its 30th anniversary season! SFChronicle.com, "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," 9 Aug. 2019 That leads to a series of madcap moments after the couple become suspects, forcing them to stumble and bumble their way through trying to solve the crime. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston reunite in generic 'Murder Mystery'," 14 June 2019 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 The worst introductions are bumbling at best, while the best ones are the beginnings of beautiful friendships. Southern Living, "This Is The Proper Way to Introduce People," 11 May 2018 While bumbling their way through routine police work, the troopers stumble upon what looks like a sizable drug operation. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Super Troopers 2' is bad, but do fans care?," 19 Apr. 2018 Usually the recurring sketch has white guest hosts bumbling through questions alongside black contestants. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther shows up on ‘SNL’s’ ‘Black Jeopardy’," 8 Apr. 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)

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

24 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 haphazard or makeshift solution

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