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somersault

or som·er·set sum·mer·sault, sum·mer·set

[suhm-er-sawlt]
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noun
  1. an acrobatic movement, either forward or backward, in which the body rolls end over end, making a complete revolution.
  2. such a movement performed in the air as part of a dive, tumbling routine, etc.
  3. a complete overturn or reversal, as of opinion.
verb (used without object)
  1. to perform a somersault.

Origin of somersault

1520–30; < Middle French sombresaut, alteration of sobresault; compare Old Provençal sobre over (< Latin super), saut a leap (< Latin saltus)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for somersault

somersault

summersault

noun
    1. a forward roll in which the head is placed on the ground and the trunk and legs are turned over it
    2. a similar roll in a backward direction
  1. an acrobatic feat in which either of these rolls are performed in midair, as in diving or gymnastics
  2. a complete reversal of opinion, policy, etc
verb
  1. (intr) to perform a somersault

Word Origin

C16: from Old French soubresault, probably from Old Provençal sobresaut, from sobre over (from Latin super) + saut a jump, leap (from Latin saltus)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for somersault

n.

1520s, from Middle French sombresault, from Old Provençal sobresaut, from sobre "over" (from Latin supra "over;" see supra-) + saut "a jump," from Latin saltus, from the root of salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). Sometimes further corrupted to somerset, etc.

v.

1850, from somersault (n.). Related: Somersaulted; somersaulting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper