stumble

[ stuhm-buh l ]
/ ˈstʌm bəl /

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

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

to cause to stumble; trip.
to give pause to; puzzle or perplex.

noun

Origin of stumble

1275–1325; Middle English stumblen; cognate with Norwegian stumla to grope and stumble in the dark; akin to stammer

Related forms

stum·bler, nounstum·bling·ly, adverbun·stum·bling, adjective
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British Dictionary definitions for stumble across

stumble

/ (ˈstʌmbəl) /

verb (intr)


noun

a false step, trip, or blunder
the act of stumbling

Derived Forms

stumbler, nounstumbling, adjectivestumblingly, adverb

Word Origin for stumble

C14: related to Norwegian stumla, Danish dialect stumle; see stammer
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

Idioms and Phrases with stumble across

stumble across

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]


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.