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bumbling

[buhm-bling] /ˈbʌm blɪŋ/
adjective
1.
liable to make awkward blunders:
a bumbling mechanic.
2.
clumsily incompetent or ineffectual:
bumbling diplomacy.
noun
3.
the act or practice of making blunders:
The bumbling of their officers cost them the battle.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; bumble1 + -ing2
Related forms
bumblingly, adverb

bumble1

[buhm-buh l] /ˈbʌm bəl/
verb (used without object), bumbled, bumbling.
1.
to bungle or blunder awkwardly; muddle:
He somehow bumbled through two years of college.
2.
to stumble or stagger.
3.
to speak in a low, stuttering, halting manner; mumble.
verb (used with object), bumbled, bumbling.
4.
to do (something) clumsily; botch.
noun
5.
an awkward blunder.
Origin
1525-35; perhaps blend of bungle and stumble
Related forms
bumbler, noun

bumble2

[buhm-buh l] /ˈbʌm bəl/
verb (used without object), bumbled, bumbling.
1.
to make a buzzing, humming sound, as a bee.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English bomblen, frequentative of bomben to boom, buzz; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bum-bling

bumble1

/ˈbʌmbəl/
verb
1.
to speak or do in a clumsy, muddled, or inefficient way: he bumbled his way through his speech
2.
(intransitive) to proceed unsteadily; stumble
noun
3.
a blunder or botch
Derived Forms
bumbler, noun
bumbling, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C16: perhaps a blend of bungle + stumble

bumble2

/ˈbʌmbəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to make a humming sound
Word Origin
C14 bomblen to buzz, boom, of imitative origin
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
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Word Origin and History for bum-bling

bumble

v.

"to flounder, blunder," 1530s, probably of imitative origin. Related: Bumbled; bumbler; bumbling.

Bumble

"self-important petty official," 1856, from the name of the fussy, pompous, stupid beadle in Dickens' "Oliver Twist."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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