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

[ suhm-er-sawlt ]
/ ˈsʌm ərˌsɔlt /


an acrobatic movement, either forward or backward, in which the body rolls end over end, making a complete revolution.
such a movement performed in the air as part of a dive, tumbling routine, etc.
a complete overturn or reversal, as of opinion.

verb (used without object)

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) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for somersault

British Dictionary definitions for somersault



/ (ˈsʌməˌsɔːlt) /


  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
an acrobatic feat in which either of these rolls are performed in midair, as in diving or gymnastics
a complete reversal of opinion, policy, etc


(intr) to perform a somersault

Word Origin for somersault

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