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90s Slang You Should Know


[tuhm-bler] /ˈtʌm blər/
a person who performs leaps, somersaults, and other bodily feats.
(in a lock) any locking or checking part that, when lifted or released by the action of a key or the like, allows the bolt to move.
a stemless drinking glass having a flat, often thick bottom.
(in a gunlock) a leverlike piece that by the action of a spring forces the hammer forward when released by the trigger.
  1. a part moving a gear into place in a selective transmission.
  2. a single cog or cam on a rotating shaft, transmitting motion to a part with which it engages.
a tumbling box or barrel.
a person who operates a tumbling box or barrel.
one of a breed of dogs resembling a small greyhound, used formerly in hunting rabbits.
Also called roller. one of a breed of domestic pigeons noted for the habit of tumbling backward in flight.
a toy, usually representing a fat, squatting figure, that is weighted and rounded at the bottom so as to rock when touched.
a tumbrel or tumble cart.
Origin of tumbler
1300-50; Middle English: acrobat; see tumble, -er1. Compare Low German tümeler drinking-cup, kind of pigeon Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tumbler
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A tumbler had no business with a family, but what was a man going to do?

    The Hoofer Walter M. Miller
  • Jimmy polished his stein and a tumbler and poured for the two of them.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • George watched the friendly drop expand to half a tumbler full, and he observed that the hand that poured was not quite steady.

    The Guarded Heights Wadsworth Camp
  • Preserve in a bottle, and when needed, dilute in a tumbler of ice water.

    The Italian Cook Book Maria Gentile
  • tumbler brought up the rear, staggering under the weight of the cooking-lamp.

    Red Rooney R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for tumbler


  1. a flat-bottomed drinking glass with no handle or stem. Originally, a tumbler had a round or pointed base and so could not stand upright
  2. Also called tumblerful. the contents or quantity such a glass holds
a person, esp a professional entertainer, who performs somersaults and other acrobatic feats
another name for tumble dryer
Also called tumbling box. a pivoted box or drum rotated so that the contents (usually inferior gemstones) tumble about and become smooth and polished
the part of a lock that retains or releases the bolt and is moved by the action of a key
a lever in a gunlock that receives the action of the mainspring when the trigger is pressed and thus forces the hammer forwards
  1. a part that moves a gear in a train of gears into and out of engagement
  2. a single cog or cam that transmits motion to the part with which it engages
a toy, often a doll, that is so weighted that it rocks when touched
(often capital) a breed of domestic pigeon kept for exhibition or flying. The performing varieties execute backward somersaults in flight
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
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Word Origin and History for tumbler

mid-14c., "acrobat," agent noun from tumble (v.). A fem. form was tumbester (late 14c.). Meaning "drinking glass" is recorded from 1660s, originally a glass with a rounded or pointed bottom which would cause it to "tumble," and thus it could not be set down until it was empty.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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