bum·​bling | \ ˈbəm-b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce bumbling (audio) \

Definition of bumbling

: awkwardly blundering or faltering a bumbling speaker : prone to or marked by foolish mistakes a bumbling attempt to fix the problem … many Americans see the F.D.A. as bumbling and inefficient …— Herbert Burkholz

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Other Words from bumbling

bumblingly adverb
… none of them truly wants him in her home while he tries, bumblingly, to get his act together … — Laura Collins-Hughes

Examples of bumbling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Will Ferrell hasn’t left his Anchorman character Ron Burgundy too far behind since creating the bumbling broadcaster in the 2004 hit comedy. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Ron Burgundy Is Back! Will Ferrell Reprises Iconic Anchorman Character on Every Late Night Show," 9 Aug. 2019 Ruthlessness With his wayward locks, creased suits and seemingly uncontrollable ties, Johnson may come across as bumbling character from a BBC sitcom. Phil Boucher, Fortune, "What Can We Expect From Boris Johnson? Scandals, Screw-Ups, Quips, and Comebacks," 23 July 2019 Vic is gruff and bumbling and often appears almost literally as a bull in a china shop. Jake Coyle, Detroit Free Press, "Buddy comedy ‘Stuber’ runs on fumes," 11 July 2019 The musical comedy is filled with zany pirates, zombie ships, mermaids and the plot revolves around a bumbling actor and his crew getting shanghaied by the terror of the high seas. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Newcomers group installs new officers," 10 July 2019 Mr Johnson is the favourite, but his bumbling style seems odd at a time of crisis. The Economist, "Politics this week," 29 June 2019 And his bumbling response to the Middle East likely won’t inspire confidence in his ability to be commander-in-chief. cleveland.com, "Tim Ryan’s coveted moment eludes him at first Democratic debate: analysis," 26 June 2019 What unfolded over the next 12 hours transformed a bumbling operation into a historic fiasco. Megan Rose, ProPublica, "Trump Keeps Talking About the Last Military Standoff With Iran — Here’s What Really Happened," 24 June 2019 In the February 22, 1966, edition of National Review, William F. Buckley Jr. decried a widespread political confusion among American Catholics that had led to the public ascendance of such bumbling radicals as the Jesuit Daniel Berrigan. Declan Leary, National Review, "Catholics vs. Libertarians in the 1960s," 11 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bumbling.' 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 bumbling

1660, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near bumbling







bum check

Statistics for bumbling

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for bumbling

The first known use of bumbling was in 1660

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