Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An acrobatic stunt in which the body rolls forward or backward in a complete revolution with the knees bent and the feet coming over the head. Also called somerset; also called regionally tumbleset.
  • n. A complete reversal, as of sympathies or opinions.
  • intransitive v. To execute a somersault.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In gymnastics, an act where the gymnast turns head over heels
  • v. To perform a somersault.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A leap in which a person turns his heels over his head and lights upon his feet; a turning end over end.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A spring or fling in which a person turns heels over head; a complete turn in the air, such as is performed by tumblers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an acrobatic feat in which the feet roll over the head (either forward or backward) and return
  • v. do a somersault

Etymologies

Obsolete French sombresault, variant of sobresault, from Old Provençal sobresaut : sobre-, above (from Latin suprā) + saut, leap (from Latin saltus, from past participle of salīre, to leap).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • It's an excellent spelling from the point of view of creative misspellings:
    summersalt - the type of salt especially suited to the months between June and September.
    Sumassault - the total military force exerted at a particular point in the enemy's line at a particular time.

    June 22, 2009

  • I've always loved how this word is spelled.

    November 18, 2008