bumbling

[ buhm-bling ]
/ ˈbʌm blɪŋ /

adjective

liable to make awkward blunders: a bumbling mechanic.
clumsily incompetent or ineffectual: bumbling diplomacy.

noun

the act or practice of making blunders: The bumbling of their officers cost them the battle.

Nearby words

  1. bumbleberry,
  2. bumbledom,
  3. bumblefoot,
  4. bumbleheaded,
  5. bumblepuppy,
  6. bumblingly,
  7. bumboat,
  8. bumbry,
  9. bumetanide,
  10. bumf

Origin of bumbling

First recorded in 1525–35; bumble1 + -ing2

Related formsbum·bling·ly, adverb

bumble

1
[ buhm-buh l ]
/ ˈbʌm bəl /

verb (used without object), bum·bled, bum·bling.

to bungle or blunder awkwardly; muddle: He somehow bumbled through two years of college.
to stumble or stagger.
to speak in a low, stuttering, halting manner; mumble.

verb (used with object), bum·bled, bum·bling.

to do (something) clumsily; botch.

noun

an awkward blunder.

Origin of bumble

1
1525–35; perhaps blend of bungle and stumble

Related formsbum·bler, noun

bumble

2
[ buhm-buh l ]
/ ˈbʌm bəl /

verb (used without object), bum·bled, bum·bling.

to make a buzzing, humming sound, as a bee.

Origin of bumble

2
1350–1400; Middle English bomblen, frequentative of bomben to boom, buzz; imitative

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for bumbling

bumble

1
/ (ˈbʌmbəl) /

verb

to speak or do in a clumsy, muddled, or inefficient wayhe bumbled his way through his speech
(intr) to proceed unsteadily; stumble

noun

a blunder or botch
Derived Formsbumbler, nounbumbling, noun, adjective

Word Origin for bumble

C16: perhaps a blend of bungle + stumble

bumble

2
/ (ˈbʌmbəl) /

verb

(intr) to make a humming sound

Word Origin for bumble

C14 bomblen to buzz, boom, of imitative origin

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 bumbling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper