- 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
Examples from the Web for stumbled
He stumbled a bit in his reelection bid, but the minority leader won Tuesday and then took control of the Senate.Mitch McConnell’s Big Day: A Turtle Suns Himself
November 4, 2014
I told them when I stumbled up on that beach in a little while to never forget that WE did this.From Havana to Hero: Diana Nyad’s 35-Year Quest
September 2, 2014
NBC stumbled onto a monster of a television show when it gave the green light to Friends in 1994.Viral Video of the Day: A Friends Reunion
August 28, 2014
In the morning I stumbled down the staircase and choked down a chunky breakfast smoothie.Aubrey Plaza’s Great Disconnect
August 15, 2014
The day after the assault, ISAF announced that forces had stumbled upon the dead women after a firefight with insurgents.Obama's Pentagon Covered Up War Crimes in Afghanistan, Says Amnesty International
Nico Hines, Sami Yousafzai
August 11, 2014
I stumbled on the case, and will do professionally all that is needed.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Thus freed of that strangling embrace, Dick stumbled blindly to his feet.Within the Law
They had stumbled in the dark on the bedding-place of a flock of Bighorn.The Trail Book
But Stevie had stumbled within five minutes of being left to himself.The Secret Agent
Dimly I gathered that she had stumbled, and he had saved her from falling.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
- 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 and History for stumbled
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.