- 1[intransitive] to hit your foot against something while you are walking or running and almost fall synonym trip The child stumbled and fell. stumble over/on something I stumbled over a rock.
- 2[intransitive] + adv./prep. to walk or move in an unsteady way Max stumbled out of bed sleepily. We were stumbling around in the dark looking for a candle.
- 3[intransitive] stumble (over/through something) to make a mistake or mistakes and stop while you are speaking, reading to somebody or playing music In her nervousness she stumbled over her words. I stumbled through the piano piece with difficulty. See related entries: Language skills Word Origin Middle English (as a verb): from Old Norse, from the Germanic base of stammer.Extra examples I stumbled across the place quite by chance. Josh was nervous and stumbled over his words. She stumbled a little on the uneven path. The economy stumbled badly at the end of 2000. The train stopped, and several passengers stumbled to their feet. They stumbled over the field. Half asleep, she stumbled into the bathroom. He stumbled drunkenly across the road. The old man stumbled out into the night. We stumbled around in the dark, looking for a light switch. Phrasal Verbsstumble across somebodystumble into something
BrE BrE//ˈstʌmbl//; NAmE NAmE//ˈstʌmbl//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stumble
BrE BrE//ˈstʌmbl//; NAmE NAmE//ˈstʌmbl//he / she / it stumbles
BrE BrE//ˈstʌmblz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈstʌmblz//past simple stumbled
BrE BrE//ˈstʌmbld//; NAmE NAmE//ˈstʌmbld//past participle stumbled
BrE BrE//ˈstʌmbld//; NAmE NAmE//ˈstʌmbld//-ing form stumbling
BrE BrE//ˈstʌmblɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈstʌmblɪŋ//Language skills