verb (used without object), stumbled, stumbling.
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.
verb (used with object), stumbled, stumbling.
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.

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 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
6.  a false step, trip, or blunder
7.  the act of stumbling
[C14: related to Norwegian stumla, Danish dialect stumle; see stammer]

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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Word Origin & History

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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Example sentences
If you've stumbled across any other great lighting specimens, please share them
  in the comments section below.
What she had stumbled upon was rare indeed: a riddle in plain sight.
The tutor who struggled to teach me high-school math had stumbled across much
  of it on foot.
But while we've learned an incredible amount from these proxies, we've also
  stumbled upon some perplexing puzzles.
Related Words
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