- 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 stumbles
Before we get off the phone, Kent stumbles and stammers until finding her footing in a heartwarming anecdote.‘The Babadook’ Is the Best (and Most Sincere) Horror Movie of the Year
November 30, 2014
One day, he stumbles across a mysterious orb whose very existence threatens the future of the universe.The Next Han Solo: Chris Pratt on His Star-Making Turn in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
July 22, 2014
She stumbles over to the bathroom and points to the bathtub.‘My Granny The Escort’: Meet 85-Year-Old Sheila Vogel-Coupe, Britain’s Oldest Prostitute
June 3, 2014
Carlos Sanchez stumbles in with his buddy, Pablo, singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”How to Be Popular, ’50s Style: ‘Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek’
Maya Van Wagenen
April 17, 2014
Cohle seems to have blind luck behind him as he stumbles into one obvious clue after another.‘True Detective,’ Obsessive-Compulsive Noir, and ‘Twin Peaks’
March 14, 2014
He caught up with her in a moment, in spite of some stumbles over the rough road.Keziah Coffin
Joseph C. Lincoln
The mate comes up, his arm strapped to his side, and stumbles into the cradle.With The Night Mail
Then you've room to pull her if she stumbles; which, by the way, isn't likely.Nell, of Shorne Mills
Her sensation was like that of one who, hunting a hare, stumbles upon a wolf.Two Days' Solitary Imprisonment
My wife's horse sets one of his forefeet on a loose stone, and stumbles.The Lock And Key Library
- 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 stumbles
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.