Definition of stumbling in English:



  • 1Tripping or losing balance while walking; moving with difficulty.

    ‘they began their stumbling walk home’
    ‘I took a stumbling step backwards’
    • ‘The barrister heard stumbling footsteps coming up the stairs.’
    • ‘She mutters something and takes a few stumbling paces back into the crowd.’
    • ‘With one hand stretched out to steady him, he began a stumbling march toward the door.’
    • ‘I had eight pairs of eyes glued to my every stumbling action.’
    • ‘He tripped, managed a few more stumbling strides, and then collapsed onto the dirt road.’
    1. 1.1 Making repeated mistakes, especially in speech.
      ‘his uncertain and stumbling choice of words’
      ‘Mike's stumbling pursuit of success’
      • ‘It was a few stumbling sentences—the poorest possible effort on an occasion when he should have produced the finest speech of his life.’
      • ‘After the stumbling progress of the last four years, we need a firm hand and a solid commitment that a safe, major company would bring.’
      • ‘It's a sharp, witty comedy about the stumbling speeches made by best men at weddings and all the struggle the writers may have to compose them.’
      • ‘The speaker resigned after his stumbling response to the scandal.’
      • ‘My stumbling version of the riff impressed him.’