• IPA: /ˈstʌmbəl/

stumble (plural stumbles)

  1. A fall, trip or substantial misstep.
  2. An error or blunder.
  3. A clumsy walk.
Synonyms Translations Translations Verb

stumble (stumbles, present participle stumbling; past and past participle stumbled)

  1. (intransitive) To trip or fall; to walk clumsily.
    • 1820, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe; a Romance. [...] In Three Volumes, volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co. […], OCLC 230694662 ↗:
    He stumbled over a rock.
  2. (intransitive) To make a mistake or have trouble.
    I always stumble over verbs in Spanish.
  3. (transitive) To cause to stumble or trip.
  4. (transitive, figurative) To mislead; to confound; to cause to err or to fall.
    • 1644, John Milton, Areopagitica; a Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Vnlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England, London: [s.n.], OCLC 879551664 ↗:
      False and dazzling fires to stumble men.
    • a. 1705, John Locke, “An Examination of P[ère] Malebranche’s Opinion of Seeing All Things in God”, in Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke: […], London: […] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, […], published 1706, OCLC 6963663 ↗:
      One thing more stumbles me in the very foundation of this hypothesis.
  5. To strike or happen (upon a person or thing) without design; to fall or light by chance; with on, upon, or against.
    • He [Ovid] had stumbled, by some inadvertency, upon Livia in a bath.
    • 1754, Christopher Smart, Snake
      Forth as she waddled in the brake, / A grey goose stumbled on a snake.
Translations Translations Translations

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