- The definition of a fumble is an awkward handling or searching or a dropping of something, particularly in football.
An example of a fumble is the dropping of a football.
- Fumble is defined as to clumsily search or handle, or to lose hold of an object, particularly in football.
An example of fumble is to go through a drawer in the dark searching for an item.
transitive verbfumbled, fumbling
- to search (for a thing) by feeling about awkwardly with the hands; grope clumsily
- to handle (a thing) clumsily or unskillfully; bungle
- to lose one's grasp on (a football, etc.) while trying to catch or hold it
- to make (one's way) clumsily or by groping
Origin of fumblevariant, variety of Middle English famelen, probably ; from Old Norse famla, akin to Dutch fommeln, German fummeln
- the act or fact of fumbling
- a football, etc. that has been fumbled
verbfum·bled, fum·bling, fum·bles
- To touch or handle nervously or idly: fumble with a necktie.
- To grope awkwardly to find or to accomplish something: fumble for a key.
- To proceed awkwardly and uncertainly; blunder: fumble through a speech.
- a. Football To drop a ball that is in play.b. Baseball To mishandle a ground ball.
- To touch or handle clumsily or idly: “fumbled the skeleton key into the lock and turned it” (Bentley Dadmun).
- To make a mess of; bungle. See Synonyms at botch.
- To feel or make (one's way) awkwardly.
- a. Football To drop (a ball) while in play.b. Baseball To mishandle (a ground ball).
- The act or an instance of fumbling.
- Sports A ball that has been fumbled.
Origin of fumbleMiddle English fomelen, to grope.
(third-person singular simple present fumbles, present participle fumbling, simple past and past participle fumbled)
- (intransitive) To idly touch or nervously handle
- Waiting for the interview, he fumbled with his tie.
- He fumbled the key into the lock.
- (intransitive) To grope awkwardly in trying to find something
- He fumbled for his keys.
- He fumbled his way to the light-switch.
- (intransitive) To blunder uncertainly.
- He fumbled through his prepared speech.
- To grope about in perplexity; to seek awkwardly.
- to fumble for an excuse
- (intransitive, sports) To drop a ball or a baton etc.
- To handle much; to play childishly; to turn over and over.
- (sports) A ball etc. that has been dropped
Origin uncertain; perhaps from a Scandinavian source. Compare Old Norse falma, Swedish fumla, Danish fumle, German fummeln.