1

stumble

verb stum·ble \ ˈstəm-bəl \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of stumble

stumbled; stumbling play \-b(ə-)liŋ\
intransitive verb
1 a : to fall into sin or waywardness
b : to make an error : blunder
c : to come to an obstacle to belief
2 : to trip in walking or running
3 a : to walk unsteadily or clumsily
b : to speak or act in a hesitant or faltering manner
4 a : to come unexpectedly or by chance
  • stumble onto the truth
b : to fall or move carelessly
transitive verb
1 : to cause to stumble : trip

stumbler

play \-b(ə-)lər\ noun

stumblingly

play \-b(ə-)liŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of stumble in a Sentence

  1. I stumbled on the uneven pavement.

  2. The horse stumbled and almost fell.

  3. He stumbled drunkenly across the room.

  4. He stumbled over to the table.

  5. I heard him stumble over the unfamiliar words.

  6. She stumbled through an apology.

  7. The economy has stumbled in recent months.

Recent Examples of stumble from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of stumble

Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian dialect stumle to stumble

stumble Synonyms

Synonyms
slip, fall, topple, trip, tumble
Antonyms
get up, rise, stand (up), uprise
Related Words
collapse, crumple, drop, flump, keel, plop, plunk (or plonk), slump (over); crash, free-fall, nose-dive, plummet, plunge, precipitate, wipe out; skid, slide
Near Antonyms
coast, fly, glide, kilt, sail, zip, zoom

2

stumble

noun

Definition of stumble

: an act or instance of stumbling

Examples of stumble in a Sentence

  1. was his hurtful remark a regrettable stumble, or was it made with artful intention?

  2. has bones so brittle that a minor stumble could result in a serious break

Recent Examples of stumble from the Web

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

First Known Use of stumble

1547



STUMBLE Defined for English Language Learners

stumble

verb

Definition of stumble for English Language Learners

  • : to hit your foot on something when you are walking or running so that you fall or almost fall

  • : to walk in an awkward way

  • : to speak or act in an awkward way


STUMBLE Defined for Kids

1

stumble

verb stum·ble \ ˈstəm-bəl \

Definition of stumble for Students

stumbled; stumbling
1 : to trip in walking, running, or dancing
2 : to walk unsteadily
  • She stumbled around in the dark.
3 : to speak or act in a clumsy manner
  • The student stumbled through his presentation.
4 : to come unexpectedly or accidentally
  • We stumbled onto a clue.

2

stumble

noun

Definition of stumble for Students

: an act or instance of tripping or walking unsteadily


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