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

to mix in a confused mass; put or throw together without order: You've jumbled up all the cards.
to confuse mentally; muddle.

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

to be mixed together in a disorderly heap or mass.
to meet or come together confusedly.


Origin of jumble

1520–30; perhaps blend of joll to bump (now dial.) and tumble
Related formsjum·ble·ment, nounjum·bler, nounjum·bling·ly, adverbun·jum·bled, adjective

Synonyms for jumble

Antonyms for jumble

1. separate. 7. order.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jumble

Contemporary Examples of jumble

Historical Examples of jumble

  • Do we not nightly jumble events and personages and times and places, as these do daily?

  • For my own life was a jumble—irregular, crowded and intense.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • Of all these men and the rushing world of power they lived in, I have only a jumble of memories now.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • A musician might extract some harmony from this chaos of noises, this jumble of sounds.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • It was full of a jumble of newspapers, books, old clothes and underlinen, in bundles.


    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for jumble



to mingle (objects, papers, etc) in a state of disorder
(tr; usually passive) to remember in a confused form; muddle


a disordered mass, state, etc
British articles donated for a jumble sale
Also called: jumbal a small thin cake, usually ring-shaped
Derived Formsjumbler, nounjumbly, adjective

Word Origin for jumble

C16: of uncertain 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 jumble

1520s, originally "to move confusedly," perhaps coined on model of stumble, tumble, etc. In 17c., it was yet another euphemism for "have sex with" (a sense first attested 1580s). Meaning "mix or confuse" is from 1540s. Related: Jumbled; jumbling.


"a confused mixture," 1660s, from jumble (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper