stumble upon

stumble

[stuhm-buhl]
verb (used without object), stumbled, stumbling.
1.
to strike the foot against something, as in walking or running, so as to stagger or fall; trip.
2.
to walk or go unsteadily: to stumble down a dark passage.
3.
to make a slip, mistake, or blunder, especially a sinful one: to stumble over a question; to stumble and fall from grace.
4.
to proceed in a hesitating or blundering manner, as in action or speech (often followed by along ).
5.
to discover or meet with accidentally or unexpectedly (usually followed by on, upon, or across ): They stumbled on a little village.
6.
to falter or hesitate, as at an obstacle to progress or belief.
verb (used with object), stumbled, stumbling.
7.
to cause to stumble; trip.
8.
to give pause to; puzzle or perplex.
noun
9.
the act of stumbling.
10.
a moral lapse or error.
11.
a slip or blunder.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English stumblen; cognate with Norwegian stumla to grope and stumble in the dark; akin to stammer

stumbler, noun
stumblingly, adverb
unstumbling, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stumble (ˈstʌmbəl)
 
vb (foll by across or upon)
1.  to trip or fall while walking or running
2.  to walk in an awkward, unsteady, or unsure way
3.  to make mistakes or hesitate in speech or actions
4.  to come (across) by accident
5.  to commit a grave mistake or sin
 
n
6.  a false step, trip, or blunder
7.  the act of stumbling
 
[C14: related to Norwegian stumla, Danish dialect stumle; see stammer]
 
'stumbler
 
n
 
'stumbling
 
adj
 
'stumblingly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

stumble
c.1300, "to trip or miss one's footing" (physically or morally), probably from a Scand. source (cf. dialectal Norw. stumla, Swed. stambla "to stumble"), probably from a variant of the P.Gmc. base *stam-, source of O.E. stamerian "to stammer," Ger. 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 1555. Stumbling-block first recorded 1526, used in Rom. xiv.13 to transl. Gk. skandalon. Stumblebum "alcoholic derelict" first recorded 1932.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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