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stumble - definition and synonyms


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verb [intransitive] stumble pronunciation in British English /ˈstʌmb(ə)l/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlestumbling
past tensestumbled
past participlestumbled
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  1. 1
    to fall or almost fall while you are walking or running

    Cheryl’s horse stumbled, throwing her to the ground.

    stumble over/on etc:

    On his morning run, Derek stumbled over a fallen tree.

    stumble through/across etc:

    She stumbled across the hall and felt for the light switch.

    1. a.
      to move with difficulty and nearly fall because you are tired or ill
      stumble along/across/into etc:

      Hundreds of refugees stumbled wearily along the road.

  2. 2
    to make a mistake when you are speaking

    Children often stumble when reading aloud.

    stumble over/on:

    He was embarrassed, stumbling over the words.

    1. a.
      to make a mistake when you are trying to achieve something

      There are plenty of young rivals to take his place if he stumbles.

derived word


 stumble pronunciation in British English noun [countable]
Word Forms


to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

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the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

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