One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Tripping or losing balance while walking; moving with difficulty.‘they began their stumbling walk home’‘I took a stumbling step backwards’
- ‘He tripped, managed a few more stumbling strides, and then collapsed onto the dirt road.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The barrister heard stumbling footsteps coming up the stairs.’
- ‘She mutters something and takes a few stumbling paces back into the crowd.’
- 1.1 Making repeated mistakes, especially in speech.‘his uncertain and stumbling choice of words’‘Mike's stumbling pursuit of success’
- ‘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.’
- ‘It was a few stumbling sentences—the poorest possible effort on an occasion when he should have produced the finest speech of his life.’
- ‘The speaker resigned after his stumbling response to the scandal.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘My stumbling version of the riff impressed him.’
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