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stumble

[stuhm-buh l] /ˈstʌm bəl/
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
1275-1325; Middle English stumblen; cognate with Norwegian stumla to grope and stumble in the dark; akin to stammer
Related forms
stumbler, noun
stumblingly, adverb
unstumbling, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for stumbling
  • Imagine an impressionable coworker stumbling in on that scene.
  • The hallway was filled with smoke and with coughing, bleeding people who were stumbling around, disoriented.
  • If stumbling into quicksand ranks on your list of worries, don't panic.
  • The horses were stumbling on the slippery rocks and the mules had that mean glint in their eyes-but then, so did we.
  • But the project has encountered an unexpected stumbling block.
  • The stumbling global economy, however, does mean shoppers are cutting back.
  • We were stumbling up the lava flow and trying to pick up lava rocks as souvenirs.
  • After daybreak, the rumor of a tap with running water sent her stumbling in a panic through the slum's narrow corridors.
  • Somehow, we'll find them-at this rate, by stumbling over them at random.
  • If you reach a stumbling block, try using the one-minute struggle.
British Dictionary definitions for stumbling

stumble

/ˈstʌmbəl/
verb (intransitive)
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.
foll by across or upon. to come (across) by accident
5.
to commit a grave mistake or sin
noun
6.
a false step, trip, or blunder
7.
the act of stumbling
Derived Forms
stumbler, noun
stumbling, adjective
stumblingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: related to Norwegian stumla, Danish dialect stumle; see stammer
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 stumbling

stumble

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for stumbling

stumble

verb

To be arrested; fall (1950s+ Underworld)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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