- 1[intransitive, transitive] to use your hands in an awkward way when you are doing something or looking for something fumble (at/with/in something) (for something) She fumbled in her pocket for a handkerchief. He fumbled with the buttons on his shirt. fumble around She was fumbling around in the dark looking for the light switch. fumble something (+ adv./prep.) He fumbled the key into the ignition. fumble to do something I fumbled to zip up my jacket.
- 2[intransitive, transitive] to have difficulty speaking clearly or finding the right words to say fumble (for something) During the interview, she fumbled helplessly for words. fumble something to fumble an announcement
- 3[transitive] fumble something (especially in sport) to drop a ball or to fail to stop or kick it Word Origin late Middle English: from Low German fommeln or Dutch fommelen.
BrE BrE//ˈfʌmbl//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfʌmbl//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they fumble
BrE BrE//ˈfʌmbl//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfʌmbl//he / she / it fumbles
BrE BrE//ˈfʌmblz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfʌmblz//past simple fumbled
BrE BrE//ˈfʌmbld//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfʌmbld//past participle fumbled
BrE BrE//ˈfʌmbld//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfʌmbld//-ing form fumbling
BrE BrE//ˈfʌmblɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfʌmblɪŋ//