tum·​ble·​down ˈtəm-bəl-ˈdau̇n How to pronounce tumbledown (audio)
: dilapidated, ramshackle
a tumbledown house at the edge of townSherwood Anderson

Examples of tumbledown in a Sentence

lived alone on a tumbledown farm that had seen better days
Recent Examples on the Web For much of recent history, intimate private colleges and universities have thrived here, as much a part of the region’s identity as tumbledown stone walls and scenic coastlines, the local highways bristling with signs signaling that another quintessential New England campus is just an exit away. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Apr. 2023 The drive follows several miles of twisting pavement past tumbledown barns and front lawns doubling as auto graveyards. Popular Mechanics, 14 Apr. 2023 The piles of tumbledown bricks on Long Beach streets took laborious weeks to clear away. Patt Morrisoncolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 7 Mar. 2023 After reluctantly moving into a tumbledown 17th-century English cottage, Milli Proust has created a gorgeously unruly and varied source for her craft. Carolyn Asome David Fernández, New York Times, 11 Oct. 2022 Low walls of tumbledown stone, kept in place as a monument, mark the outlines of the cottages that once stood here. Cathleen O'Grady, The Atlantic, 20 May 2022 Above them all is grandmother Muriel (Ann Reid), who lives in a large tumbledown manse where the family will gather intermittently. Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2022 In the tumbledown concrete room that has been commandeered as this sleepy African trading center’s Covid-19 vaccination headquarters, a battered freezer holds stacks of boxes with dozens of small glass vials. New York Times, 15 Mar. 2022 But the halo of wealth of the Bay Area has never reached the tumbledown homes, trailer park and ranches of Round Valley. New York Times, 27 Oct. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tumbledown.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1818, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tumbledown was in 1818

Dictionary Entries Near tumbledown

Cite this Entry

“Tumbledown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tumbledown. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


tum·​ble·​down ˌtəm-bəl-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce tumbledown (audio)
: dilapidated
a tumbledown shack
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