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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from somersault

somersault intransitive verb

Examples of somersault in a Sentence

The gymnast turned a somersault.
Recent Examples on the Web On an inward 3 ½ somersault tuck, two of seven judges awarded Hedberg 9.5 and one a 9.0 – and one a 10.0. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 9 June 2021 After two dives, Bacon sat in third place, then scored 62.40 points on a reverse 1½ somersault pike. Rachel Blount, Star Tribune, 18 Mar. 2021 On his last dive, Lenzi scores 101.85 points on a reverse 3½ somersault from the tuck position to win the 3-meter springboard title at the U.S. Indoor Diving Championships. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2021 Rudolph's Harris then brought out Moffat's Biden, who limped in with a medical boot on his foot before doing a somersault like Willy Wonka. Frank Pallotta, CNN, 20 Dec. 2020 Literally, Moffat's Biden did a somersault in his boot cast — straight into the COVID-19 vaccination scene for Vice President Mike Pence (played by Beck Bennett). Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 20 Dec. 2020 The topsy turvy trade talks between the U.K. and the European Union took another somersault on Sunday when Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen gave negotiators another shot at closing a deal. Ian Wishart,, 13 Dec. 2020 In that somersault, Mr. Morrison inadvertently let the world hear Australia’s internal dialogue of doubt — one that echoes around the globe as China increasingly asserts its might. New York Times, 1 Dec. 2020 On a 1-0 pitch to Ian Happ, Suter lost his balance and did a perfect somersault off the mound. Joe Totoraitis, Star Tribune, 12 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About somersault

Time Traveler for somersault

Time Traveler

The first known use of somersault was circa 1530

See more words from the same year

Statistics for somersault

Last Updated

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Somersault.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for somersault



English Language Learners Definition of somersault

: a forward or backward movement of your body on the ground or in the air that is made by bringing your feet over your head


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!