1250-1300;Middle Englishtum(b)len to dance in acrobatic style (cognate with Dutchtuimelen,Low Germantummeln), frequentative of Middle Englishtomben,Old Englishtumbian, (cognate with Old Norsetumba, akin to Old High Germantūmōn to reel (perhaps < OLG); compare Frenchtomber to fall < Gmc); see -le
c.1300, "to perform as an acrobat," also "to fall down," perhaps from a frequentative form of O.E. tumbian "dance about," of unknown origin. Related to M.L.G. tummelen "to turn, dance," Du. tuimelen "to tumble," O.H.G. tumon, Ger. taumeln "to turn, reel." The noun is recorded from 1716. Tumble-down (1791) originally meant "habitually falling down" and was used first of horses; sense of "in a dilapidated condition" is recorded from 1818. Tumble-weed is attested from 1887.