tum·​ble | \ ˈtəm-bəl How to pronounce tumble (audio) \
tumbled; tumbling\ ˈtəm-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce tumble (audio) \

Definition of tumble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to fall suddenly and helplessly
b : to suffer a sudden downfall, overthrow, or defeat
c : to decline suddenly and sharply (as in price) : drop the stock market tumbled
d : to fall into ruin : collapse
2a : to perform gymnastic feats in tumbling
b : to turn end over end in falling or flight
3 : to roll over and over, to and fro, or end over end : toss
4 : to issue forth hurriedly and confusedly
5 : to come by chance : stumble
6 : to come to understand : catch on didn't tumble to the seriousness of the problem

transitive verb

1 : to cause to tumble (as by pushing or toppling)
2a : to throw together in a confused mass
3 : to whirl in a tumbling barrel



Definition of tumble (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a disordered mass of objects or material
b : a disorderly state
2 : an act or instance of tumbling

Examples of tumble in a Sentence

Verb He tripped and tumbled to the ground. The statue came tumbling down during the riots. The satellite was tumbling out of control. She slipped and tumbled down the hill. Everyone came tumbling out of the bar at closing time. He tumbled into bed and fell asleep. Water tumbled over the rocks. Noun cleaned a crazy tumble of buttons, hair bands, loose change, and old candy wrappers out from the couch cushions took a little tumble on the ice See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Temperatures tumble to lows near 40 in the suburbs to the mid-40s in the city. Washington Post, 7 Mar. 2022 Tomorrow night: Mainly clear skies early help temperatures tumble. Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2022 The risk that China might tumble into recession is increasing, Ting Lu, Jing Wang and Harrison Zhang of Nomura warned in a report. Joe Mcdonald, ajc, 14 Apr. 2022 The investment bank reckons equities could tumble a further 21% to finish 2022 at 3,600. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2022 For rockers on both sides of the Atlantic, hair grease was a crucial mortar; but Voormann and Vollmer were beginning to let their bangs tumble forward, with no grease at all. The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2022 Thanks to anti-drop technology, the robot vac won't accidentally tumble down a flight of stairs or constantly bump into obstacles. Amy Schulman, PEOPLE.com, 3 Dec. 2021 Sales of all the materials that go into building apartments, from cement to rebar to glass, will tumble. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 10 Nov. 2021 There were no announcements of deals or details offered, but rival Gogo saw its shares tumble 5.7%. Chris Morris, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For instance, Janet Yellen has already come out with a statement referencing Terra’s spectacular tumble and pushing for more stablecoin regulation during an annual testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee. Rahul Rai, Forbes, 17 May 2022 There might be more punishment in store for the big tech Faang companies licking their wounds after a $2 trillion-plus tumble, technicals show. Fortune, 15 May 2022 Prior to Thursday’s tumble, bitcoin had been trading in a range between about $37,000 and $40,000. WSJ, 6 May 2022 The brand recommends washing them with cold water and tumble drying them on low heat. Isabel Garcia, PEOPLE.com, 5 May 2022 Perhaps the player to take the biggest tumble was Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean, who many saw as a first-round selection. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2022 But that’s not where the tale ends for some unfortunate homeowners, as tumble dryers can be life-changing. Terry Baddoo, USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2022 The ensuing stock tumble erased more than $54 billion in value in a single day, along with the image of invincibility Netflix has always projected. David Sims, The Atlantic, 26 Apr. 2022 If the care tag allows, toss mats into the washing machine on the gentle cycle on warm, and tumble-dry low or air dry. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of tumble


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tumble


Middle English, frequentative of tumben to dance, from Old English tumbian; akin to Old High German tūmōn to reel

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Time Traveler for tumble

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The first known use of tumble was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tumble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tumble. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tumble


tum·​ble | \ ˈtəm-bəl How to pronounce tumble (audio) \
tumbled; tumbling

Kids Definition of tumble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to fall suddenly and helplessly As she walked on, distracted, she tripped on a rock, tumbling hard to the ground …— Kelly Barnhill, The Girl Who Drank the Moon
2 : to fall while rolling or bouncing Boxes tumbled down the stairs.
3 : to move or go in a hurried or confused way The children tumbled out of the bus.
4 : to toss together into a confused mass
5 : to perform gymnastic feats of rolling and turning
6 : to suffer a sudden downward turn or defeat The value of gold tumbled.



Kids Definition of tumble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of falling often while rolling or bouncing Peter gave the dice a quick tumble.— Chris Van Allsburg, Jumanji
2 : a messy state or collection

More from Merriam-Webster on tumble

Nglish: Translation of tumble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tumble for Arabic Speakers


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