intransitive verb-·bled, -·bling
- 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
Origin of stumbleMiddle English stumblen from Scand, as in Norwegian dialect, dialectal stumba, Old Norse stumra from Indo-European base an unverified form stem-, to bump against, hamper from source stammer, German stumm, Dutch stom, mute
- to cause to stumble
- to puzzle or perplex; confound
- the act of stumbling
- a blunder, error, or sin