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

  • noun 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.
  • noun A complete reversal, as of sympathies or opinions.
  • intransitive verb To execute a somersault.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

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

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

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

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


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

[Obsolete French sombresault, variant of sobresault, from Old Provençal sobresaut : sobre-, above (from Latin suprā; see uper in Indo-European roots) + saut, leap (from Latin saltus, from past participle of salīre, to leap; see sel- in Indo-European roots).]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word somersault.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

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

    November 18, 2008

  • 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