To stumble is to make a mistake, but you can also use this word when a person falls or is just about to fall.

  • person falling He stumbled around on his skates before he learned how to balance himself.
  • I stumbled over a loose piece of carpeting.
  • A two-year-old toddler stumbled, fell, and landed on her head.
  • Pete and Bill stumbled into the bar just before it closed.

This word is often used when people make mistakes:

  • Sue often stumbles over her words.
  • The vice president of the company stumbled too many times, so he was demoted.
  • If you stumble, keep trying. Don’t give up.

When you find something by surprise or accident, you can use "stumble."

  • Wendy stumbled upon a big sale at Macy’s. (She didn’t know it was happening.)
  • Jerry has stumbled into yet another bad situation.

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Published on August 23, 2014