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

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Other Words from somersault

somersault intransitive verb

Examples of somersault in a Sentence

The gymnast turned a somersault.
Recent Examples on the Web Scientists have observed embryonic crabs do somersaults. National Geographic, "Atlantic horseshoe crab," 20 Apr. 2020 After taking more than a year off following Rio, Biles was doing her old skills – and some tough new ones, like her double-twisting, double somersault dismount off beam – within three months. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Simone Biles is sitting at home like the rest of us, and she's not happy about it," 2 Apr. 2020 His famous somersault celebration as United mounted the iconic late comeback against Bayern Munich remains one of the enduring memories of that season., "Peter Schmeichel: The Great Dane Who Redefined Modern Goalkeeping," 6 Aug. 2019 Boudia, 27-years-old and the 2012 Olympic champion, peaked in his early dives in the six-round competition, including a perfect score of 10 for his execution of an inward three-and-a-half somersault. WSJ, "Rio Olympics 2016," 22 Aug. 2016 That surprised him, given his season track record and a bad landing on a somersault catch in last week’s Bills loss. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Why has Amari Cooper's production dropped on the road? Let the Cowboys WR explain," 5 Dec. 2019 The experience is exciting; the fruit goes leaping through your mouth in somersaults of flavor. Ruth Reichl, Town & Country, "This Strain of California Dried Apricots Is Extraordinary—and Endangered," 25 Sep. 2019 Not every selection needs to do somersaults to win your favor. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "For exceptional Korean food, book a table at Anju," 2 Jan. 2020 Neither was the double double—two twists and two somersaults—that Biles did dismounting the balance beam the day before. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Biomechanical Perfection of Simone Biles in Flight," 13 Aug. 2019

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.

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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

Time Traveler

The first known use of somersault was circa 1530

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Statistics for somersault

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Somersault.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for somersault


How to pronounce somersault (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on somersault

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with somersault

Spanish Central: Translation of somersault

Nglish: Translation of somersault for Spanish Speakers

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