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 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 One of the best ways to avoid bumbling into war, a war that nobody wants, is to have a robust open debate and for Congress to have a real say. Washington Post, "Trump ordered attack on Iran for downing drone, then called it off," 22 June 2019 On land, seals may at times seem like bumbling, blubbery goofballs. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Dazzling Display of Seals Wins Underwater Photographer of the Year Award," 25 Feb. 2020 Detroit rallied from a 71-67 deficit with a deflating 15-2 run while the Celtics spent the fourth quarter urgently trying to rally, only to bumble and stumble about in slapstick fashion. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, "Pistons’ third-quarter buzzer beater was a final dagger in Celtics’ ugliest loss this season," 15 Jan. 2020 The Death of Stalin, but also through three decades’ worth of collaboration with Steve Coogan on the chronicles of bumbling, parochial, not-entirely-translatable British media personality Alan Partridge. Judy Berman, Time, "HBO's Avenue 5 Transports Veep Creator Armando Iannucci's Dark, Profane Humor to Outer Space," 16 Jan. 2020 With Adams playing bumbling CONTROL Agent 86, Get Smart ran for five seasons. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, "Buck Henry, Fun-Loving Screenwriter and Actor, Dies at 89," 9 Jan. 2020 The walk could be interpreted as angry, bumbling, or just a little bit hungover. National Geographic, "The idea of beauty is always shifting. Today, it’s more inclusive than ever.," 7 Jan. 2020

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

5 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bumble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bumble. Accessed 7 Apr. 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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