fumble

[fuhm-buhl]

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

to feel or grope about clumsily: She fumbled in her purse for the keys.
Sports. to fumble the ball.

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

to make, handle, etc., clumsily or inefficiently: to fumble an attempt; He fumbled his way through the crowded room.
Sports. to fail to hold or maintain hold on (a ball) after having touched it or carried it.

noun

the act of fumbling: We completed the difficult experiment without a fumble.
Sports. an act or instance of fumbling the ball.

Nearby words

  1. fumaric,
  2. fumaric acid,
  3. fumarole,
  4. fumatorium,
  5. fumatory,
  6. fume,
  7. fume cupboard,
  8. fumed,
  9. fumet,
  10. fumeuse

Origin of fumble

1500–10; akin to Norwegian, Swedish fumla, Middle Low German fummeln to grope, fumble

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

Examples from the Web for fumble


British Dictionary definitions for fumble

fumble

verb

(intr; often foll by for or with) to grope about clumsily or blindly, esp in searchinghe was fumbling in the dark for the money he had dropped
(intr; foll by at or with) to finger or play with, esp in an absent-minded way
to say or do hesitantly or awkwardlyhe fumbled the introduction badly
to fail to catch or grasp (a ball, etc) cleanly

noun

the act of fumbling
Derived Formsfumbler, nounfumblingly, adverbfumblingness, noun

Word Origin for fumble

C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Swedish fumla

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 fumble
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper