intransitive verb stumbled, stumbling
- to trip or miss one's step in walking, running, etc.
- to walk or go in an unsteady or awkward manner, as from age, weakness, etc.
- to speak, act, or proceed in a confused, blundering manner: to stumble through a speech
- to fall into sin or error; do wrong
- to come by chance; happen: to stumble across a clue
ME stumblen < Scand, as in Norw dial. stumba, ON stumra < IE base *stem-, to bump against, hamper > stammer, Ger stumm, Du stom, mute