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

Mohammadi kissed the ball, then stepped back, pointed upwards and then finally attempted a somersault throw-in., "WATCH: Iran Player Tries, Fails to Complete Flip Throw-In Against Spain," 20 June 2018 And this was during a defensive stalemate, before their game against Spain turned into an absolute batty defeat—complete with an oddball goal, a whistled off equalizer and even a somersault. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Spain Overcomes Iran’s Stubborn Defense in the World Cup," 20 June 2018 Joan's younger childlike moves have now been replaced by a physicality represented in somersaults, cartwheels, kicks and twirls. Robert Abele,, "Bruno Dumont's 'Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc' riffs on future saint as proto-punk," 3 May 2018 Finn Murphy, Highlands Murphy nailed an inward 2 1/2 somersault dive to come from behind and claim the state title in 1-meter diving. Shelby Dermer,, "Pool of champions: Here are the Greater Cincinnati area's swimming and diving champions," 22 Feb. 2018 There were a couple of times when goal scorers did somersaults. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The World Cup of Boring Celebrations," 13 July 2018 As for the 12-guest skyboxes, which offer aerial views of dancers turning somersaults on poles below? Frances Stead Sellers,, "Stormy Daniels to visit Washington this week — for a strip-club show," 8 July 2018 Between Leonore's stunt, Princess Charlotte's somersaults, and Prince George's antics with his cousin Savannah Phillips, royal kids are killing it this week. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Leonore of Sweden Was Literally on the Floor at Her Sister's Christening and It Was So Relatable," 14 June 2018 Victor Moses converted — and marked the goal with a somersault — to put Nigeria back in control of the race for second place in the group. Washington Post, "Messi finally scores, Argentina advances at World Cup," 26 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near somersault







Somerset Island

Statistics for somersault

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for somersault

The first known use of somersault was circa 1530

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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

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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

Comments on somersault

What made you want to look up somersault? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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