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shamble1

[sham-buh l] /ˈʃæm bəl/
noun
1.
shambles, (used with a singular or plural verb)
  1. a slaughterhouse.
  2. any place of carnage.
  3. any scene of destruction:
    to turn cities into shambles.
  4. any scene, place, or thing in disorder:
    Her desk is a shambles.
2.
British Dialect. a butcher's shop or stall.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English shamel, Old English sc(e)amel stool, table < Late Latin scamellum, Latin scamillum, diminutive of Latin scamnum bench; compare German Schemel

shamble2

[sham-buh l] /ˈʃæm bəl/
verb (used without object), shambled, shambling.
1.
to walk or go awkwardly; shuffle.
noun
2.
a shambling gait.
Origin
1675-85; perhaps short for shamble-legs one that walks wide (i.e., as if straddling), reminiscent of the legs of a shamble1 (in earlier sense “butcher's table”)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for shamble
  • Well-fed brown bears sleep a lot and shamble around a ten-square-mile territory.
British Dictionary definitions for shamble

shamble

/ˈʃæmbəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to walk or move along in an awkward or unsteady way
noun
2.
an awkward or unsteady walk
Derived Forms
shambling, adjective, noun
Word Origin
C17: from shamble (adj) ungainly, perhaps from the phrase shamble legs legs resembling those of a meat vendor's table; see shambles
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for shamble
v.

"to walk with a shuffling gait, walk awkwardly and unsteadily," 1680s, from an adjective meaning "ungainly, awkward" (c.1600), from shamble (n.) "table, bench" (see shambles), perhaps on the notion of the splayed legs of bench, or the way a worker sits astride it. Cf. French bancal "bow-legged, wobbly" (of furniture), properly "bench-legged," from banc "bench." The noun meaning "a shambling gait" is from 1828. Related: Shambled; shambling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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14
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