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.
- stumbler, noun
- stum·bling·ly, adverb
- un·stum·bling, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use stumble in a sentence
A small reminder that we can survive small stumbles and even large problems, but only if we work together.The national anthem reminds us how much Americans need to work together | Fred Bowen | February 17, 2021 | Washington Post
So whenever I went uphill, I would tread on its bottom and stumble or pull on its neck.Recreating Historical Adventures in Old-Fashioned Gear | Ailsa Ross | November 12, 2020 | Outside Online
Every few weeks we’re reminded, through some kind of stumble or head-scratching contradiction, that this is our first pandemic.San Diegans Are Worried, But They Have Not Lost Trust | Scott Lewis and Kara Grant | November 3, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
He stumbled a bit in his reelection bid, but the minority leader won Tuesday and then took control of the Senate.
I told them when I stumbled up on that beach in a little while to never forget that WE did this.
Both stumbled in their first presidential campaigns over issues of their service, or lack thereof, in the fight against communism.
NBC stumbled onto a monster of a television show when it gave the green light to Friends in 1994.
In the morning I stumbled down the staircase and choked down a chunky breakfast smoothie.
After relievedly giving the pistol to the nearest soldier, he stumbled quickly over to Brion and took his hand.Sense of Obligation | Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)
We stumbled along, close up, for the thick-piled clouds still hung their light-obscuring banners over the sky.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
He walked about in the dark until, all of a sudden, he stumbled into a hole that was filled with dried grass.Squinty the Comical Pig | Richard Barnum
Most of us showed signs, I will not say of being rattled, but of having stumbled against a rattlesnake.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
He stumbled into the room, from which a heavy smell of perfume swept out upon the landing.Dope | Sax Rohmer
British Dictionary definitions for stumble
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
- stumbler, noun
- stumbling, adjective
- stumblingly, adverb
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