verb (used without object), stum·bled, stum·bling.
verb (used with object), stum·bled, stum·bling.
Origin of stumble
Related Words for stumble acrosscatch, reach, take, seize, unearth, achieve, effect, attain, uncover, encounter
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.
Also, stumble on. Find by chance, discover or meet with unexpectedly. For example, When we were hiking up the mountain we stumbled across a few abandoned shepherd's huts, or At the flea market Alfred stumbled on a quite valuable old lithograph. This idiom uses stumble in the sense of “accidentally trip.” [Mid-1500s]