from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To perform acrobatic feats such as somersaults, rolls, or twists.
  • intransitive verb To fall, roll, or move end over end.
  • intransitive verb To spill, roll out, or emerge in confusion or disorder.
  • intransitive verb To pitch headlong; fall.
  • intransitive verb To move quickly or awkwardly.
  • intransitive verb To hang down.
  • intransitive verb To collapse.
  • intransitive verb To undergo a decline in position, status, or fortune.
  • intransitive verb To decrease.
  • intransitive verb To come upon accidentally; happen on.
  • intransitive verb Slang To come to a sudden understanding; catch on.
  • intransitive verb To cause to fall or collapse; bring down.
  • intransitive verb To put, spill, or toss haphazardly.
  • intransitive verb To toss or whirl in a drum, tumbler, or tumbling box.
  • intransitive verb To cause to lose position, status, or fortune.
  • noun An act of tumbling; a fall.
  • noun A decrease, as in value.
  • noun A confused or disordered collection or amount of something.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A fall; a rolling or turning over; a somersault.
  • noun A state of entanglement or confusion.
  • noun Same as tumbling-box.
  • To roll about by turning one way and another; toss; pitch about; wallow: as, he tumbles and tosses from pain; the tumbling sea.
  • To lose footing or support and fall to the ground; come down suddenly and violently; be precipitated; as, to tumble from a scaffold.
  • To move or go in a rough, careless, or headlong manner.
  • To play mountebank tricks by various springs, balancings, posturings, and contortions of the body.
  • To dance.
  • To fall rapidly, as prices: as, fancy stocks have tumbled.
  • To turn in; go to bed.
  • Nautical to come up hastily and in a scrambling way through the hatchway on a ship's deck, as a sailor or a number of sailors together: as, the starboard watch tumbled up.
  • To turn over; toss about as for examination or search; revolve in one's mind: usually with over.
  • To disorder; rumple: as, to tumble bedclothes.
  • To throw by chance or with violence; fling; pitch.
  • To bring down; overturn or overthrow; cast to the ground; fling headlong.
  • To polish by revolution in a tumbling-box.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To turn over; to turn or throw about, as for examination or search; to roll or move in a rough, coarse, or unceremonious manner; to throw down or headlong; to precipitate; -- sometimes with over, about, etc..
  • transitive verb To disturb; to rumple.
  • noun Act of tumbling, or rolling over; a fall.
  • intransitive verb To roll over, or to and fro; to throw one's self about.
  • intransitive verb To roll down; to fall suddenly and violently; to be precipitated.
  • intransitive verb To play tricks by various movements and contortions of the body; to perform the feats of an acrobat.
  • intransitive verb (Naut.) to incline inward, as the sides of a vessel, above the bends or extreme breadth; -- used esp. in the phrase tumbling home. Cf. Wall-sided.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A fall
  • verb intransitive To fall end over end.
  • verb To perform gymnastics such as somersaults, rolls, and handsprings.
  • verb To roll over and over.
  • verb informal To have sexual intercourse.
  • verb transitive To smooth and polish a rough surface on relatively small parts.
  • verb To muss, to make disorderly to tousle.


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

[Middle English tumblen, frequentative of tumben, to dance about, from Old English tumbian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English tumblen; frequentative of Middle English tumben, from Old English tumbian.


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