tum·​ble·​down | \ ˈtəm-bəl-ˈdau̇n How to pronounce tumbledown (audio) \

Definition of tumbledown

: dilapidated, ramshackle a tumbledown house at the edge of town— Sherwood Anderson

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Examples of tumbledown in a Sentence

lived alone on a tumbledown farm that had seen better days

Recent Examples on the Web

Today, Santa Claus is a ghost town, inhabited by tumbledown buildings and families of rattlesnakes. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Long Live Route 66," 19 July 2018 Soon the sturdy adobes and ranch houses of Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms gave way to makeshift homes cobbled together from tumbledown cabins, shipping containers and trailers. New York Times, "In the California Desert: Vast Darkness, Vibrant Music, an Oasis," 19 Dec. 2017 Other more conventional — if risky — ideas involve providing no-interest financing to fix up tumbledown properties. Matthew Goldstein, New York Times, "Detroit: From Motor City to Housing Incubator," 4 Nov. 2017 His aesthetic is simultaneously clinical and tumbledown: archaeological-dig-meets-mad-scientist-laboratorio. Nancy Hass, New York Times, "A Modern-Meets-Neo-Classical Apartment in Milan," 20 Sep. 2017 In 1876 John returned to Battle Creek to take over the church’s tumbledown Western Health Reform Institute, whose few patients were indoctrinated in the Adventists’ strict ideas about diet, hygiene and chastity. Bryan Burrough, WSJ, "The Birth of a Cereal Empire," 13 Aug. 2017 By 2008, the plan called for razing four tumbledown apartment complexes in the city and building bigger, modern developments in line with the New Urbanism concept, featuring open, walkable green spaces and an array of amenities. Paul Duggan, Washington Post, "D. C. public housing residents are angry they will now be forced to move for redevelopment," 8 July 2017 History buffs have always cherished the authenticity and tumbledown charm of the 122-year-old Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall, warding off modernization efforts so as not to disturb the spirits of music icons like Bunk Johnson who played there. Kim Chatelain, NOLA.com, "Historic Dew Drop upgraded without disturbing the spirits of jazz," 16 June 2017 Down the road from Wendell Phillips’s place is a tumbledown alpaca farm that for the past four years has belonged to Victoria Vaughn-Perling, who lives in a suburb that is a twenty-minute drive away. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, "Lions of Los Angeles," 13 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tumbledown.' 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 tumbledown

1818, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for tumbledown

The first known use of tumbledown was in 1818

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More Definitions for tumbledown



English Language Learners Definition of tumbledown

of a building : in bad condition : ready to fall down


tum·​ble·​down | \ ˈtəm-bəl-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce tumbledown (audio) \

Kids Definition of tumbledown

: dilapidated a tumbledown old house

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More from Merriam-Webster on tumbledown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tumbledown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tumbledown

Spanish Central: Translation of tumbledown

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behavior toward others

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