som·​er·​sault | \ ˈsə-mər-ˌsȯlt How to pronounce somersault (audio) \
variants: or less commonly summersault

Definition of somersault

: a movement (as in gymnastics) in which a person turns forward or backward in a complete revolution along the ground or in the air bringing the feet over the head also : a falling or tumbling head over heels

Other Words from somersault

somersault intransitive verb

Examples of somersault in a Sentence

The gymnast turned a somersault.
Recent Examples on the Web At Calgary, Hedberg earned 10s from six of seven judges on his reverse 3 ½ somersault tuck off 10-meter. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 17 June 2022 At the 2019 world championships, Biles debuted a double twisting double somersault for her balance beam dismount, which was then named after her. New York Times, 24 July 2021 Carrillo’s form was impeccable on his final dive, an inward 2 1/2 somersault with a 3.1 degree of difficulty. Matt Le Cren,, 1 Mar. 2022 His hardest dive currently is a front somersault with three twists. Lori Riley,, 9 Feb. 2022 Robinson then celebrated with a somersault and a back handspring. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 27 Jan. 2022 The cuddly panda, Xiao Qi Ji, is seen trotting through the snow before doing an impressive somersault in an Instagram clip shared by the Washington, D.C., zoo Monday. Charmaine Patterson,, 5 Jan. 2022 General manager Chris Grier had to appreciate seeing Waddle’s celebratory waddle a week ago and Phillips’ celebratory sack somersault the next. Dave Hyde,, 6 Dec. 2021 The Dallas Cowboys quarterback had just rolled out of a sack early in the fourth quarter, zig-zagging into what would become a somersault of a 6-yard rushing touchdown. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 26 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'somersault.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of somersault

circa 1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for somersault

Middle French sombresaut leap, ultimately from Latin super over + saltus leap, from salire to jump — more at over, sally

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Time Traveler for somersault

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The first known use of somersault was circa 1530

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Last Updated

9 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Somersault.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for somersault


som·​er·​sault | \ ˈsə-mər-ˌsȯlt \

Kids Definition of somersault

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a movement in which someone makes a complete turn by bringing the feet over the head


somersaulted; somersaulting

Kids Definition of somersault (Entry 2 of 2)

: to perform a movement in which a person makes a complete turn by bringing the feet over the head

More from Merriam-Webster on somersault

Nglish: Translation of somersault for Spanish Speakers


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