- to strike the foot against something, as in walking or running, so as to stagger or fall; trip.
- to walk or go unsteadily: to stumble down a dark passage.
- to make a slip, mistake, or blunder, especially a sinful one: to stumble over a question; to stumble and fall from grace.
- to proceed in a hesitating or blundering manner, as in action or speech (often followed by along).
- to discover or meet with accidentally or unexpectedly (usually followed by on, upon, or across): They stumbled on a little village.
- to falter or hesitate, as at an obstacle to progress or belief.
- to cause to stumble; trip.
- to give pause to; puzzle or perplex.
- the act of stumbling.
- a moral lapse or error.
- a slip or blunder.
Origin of stumble
Related Words for stumblebumble, shuffle, hesitate, wobble, limp, swing, lurch, flounder, lumber, waver, fall, falter, careen, bump, tumble, totter, topple, err, tilt, stammer
Examples from the Web for stumble
Contemporary Examples of stumble
A party that cannot make these decisions openly and confidently will stumble in 2016.What Republicans Need Right Now Is a Good Internal Fight
November 6, 2014
Meanwhile, the labor unions and liberal groups that nominally backed Cuomo could not be more thrilled to see him stumble.Andrew Cuomo Can't Ignore It Now: He's Weak Even at Home
September 10, 2014
I stumble through interviews for my job at NY1, memories flooding back.Gaza, You're No Good For My Marriage
August 9, 2014
Wandering around Tribeca, you may stumble upon a decrepit elevator shaft that's full of curiosities.New York’s Tiniest—and Weirdest—Museum
May 29, 2014
Grilled about whether his statements stemmed from racism or jealousy, as he has claimed, Sterling started to stumble.Donald Sterling’s Insane Attempt at Damage Control Fails Miserably
May 13, 2014
Historical Examples of stumble
It would be a stroke of luck if I could stumble on one of his hiding places!Brave and Bold
Mr Vladimir did not stumble, did not stagger back, did not change his stride.The Secret Agent
Within the bounds of possibility, their turn to stumble might now be imminent.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
There is no stumble in you, for you have done a great deed, and the Red Gods are smiling.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
I should stumble and fall over the smallest pebble in the path.Abbe Mouret's Transgression
- to trip or fall while walking or running
- to walk in an awkward, unsteady, or unsure way
- to make mistakes or hesitate in speech or actions
- (foll by across or upon) to come (across) by accident
- to commit a grave mistake or sin
- a false step, trip, or blunder
- the act of stumbling
Word Origin for stumble
c.1300, "to trip or miss one's footing" (physically or morally), probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. dialectal Norwegian stumla, Swedish stambla "to stumble"), probably from a variant of the Proto-Germanic base *stam-, source of Old English stamerian "to stammer," German stumm "dumb, silent." Possibly influenced in form by stumpen "to stumble," but the -b- may be purely euphonious. Meaning "to come (upon) by chance" is attested from 1550s. Stumbling-block first recorded 1526, used in Rom. xiv:13 to translate Greek skandalon.