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

  • intransitive verb To miss one's step in walking or running; trip and almost fall.
  • intransitive verb To proceed unsteadily or falteringly; flounder. synonym: blunder.
  • intransitive verb To act or speak falteringly or clumsily.
  • intransitive verb To make a mistake or mistakes; blunder.
  • intransitive verb To come upon accidentally or unexpectedly.
  • intransitive verb To cause to stumble.
  • noun The act of stumbling.
  • noun A mistake or blunder.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To slip or trip in moving on the feet; make a false step; strike the foot, or miss footing, so as to stagger or fall.
  • To move or act unsteadily or in a staggering manner; trip in doing or saying anything; make false steps or blunders, as from confusion or inattention: as, to stumble through a performance.
  • To take a false step or be staggered mentally or morally; trip, as against a stumbling-block; find an occasion of offense; be offended or tempted.
  • To come accidentally or unexpectedly; chance; happen; light: with on or upon.
  • To cause to stumble; cause to trip; stagger; trip up.
  • To puzzle; perplex; embarrass; nonplus; confound.
  • noun The act of stumbling; a trip in walking or running.
  • noun A blunder; a failure; a false step.

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

  • noun A trip in walking or running.
  • noun A blunder; a failure; a fall from rectitude.
  • intransitive verb To trip in walking or in moving in any way with the legs; to strike the foot so as to fall, or to endanger a fall; to stagger because of a false step.
  • intransitive verb To walk in an unsteady or clumsy manner.
  • intransitive verb To fall into a crime or an error; to err.
  • intransitive verb To strike or happen (upon a person or thing) without design; to fall or light by chance; -- with on, upon, or against.
  • transitive verb To cause to stumble or trip.
  • transitive verb Fig.: To mislead; to confound; to perplex; to cause to err or to fall.

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

  • noun a fall, trip or substantial misstep
  • noun an error or blunder
  • verb intransitive to trip or fall
  • verb intransitive to make a mistake or have trouble

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

  • verb miss a step and fall or nearly fall
  • noun an unintentional but embarrassing blunder
  • verb walk unsteadily
  • verb encounter by chance
  • verb make an error
  • noun an unsteady uneven gait


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

[Middle English stumblen, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse stumra.]



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