Definition of tumble in English:

tumble

verb

  • 1no object, with adverbial Fall suddenly, clumsily, or headlong.

    ‘she pitched forward, tumbling down the remaining stairs’
    • ‘She nearly let go and tumbled down the side of the rocks.’
    • ‘Rebecca tumbled down after her, and Gabby fell somewhere on top of both of them.’
    • ‘He released the gun and tumbled down the stairs.’
    • ‘The excavator had been lowering a skip to the bottom of the hole when it tipped over the edge and tumbled down.’
    • ‘She tumbled down the steps, and got knocked unconscious.’
    • ‘Fat drops tumbled down to slick the streets.’
    • ‘He tumbled down to the edge and narrowly managed to avoid falling to almost certain death.’
    • ‘With a misguided step, Darien tumbled down a steep hill.’
    • ‘He fell forward over the baloneys edge and tumbled down.’
    • ‘They tumbled down, falling down a small hill then down some brush.’
    • ‘The leaves tumbled down the path, agitated by a sudden breeze.’
    • ‘Her body tumbled down to the ground.’
    • ‘Speaking to the doctor, she found out that Andrea had been hit on the head, tumbled down the stairs and had been caught in a fire.’
    • ‘He tumbled down the stairs and landed at the bottom.’
    • ‘Suddenly her heel caught in the stairs and she tumbled down, head first, ruining her flowers and expensive hair do.’
    • ‘All of a sudden, Alli tripped and tumbled down the steps.’
    • ‘Loose chunks of grit and rubble tumbled down on them.’
    • ‘Looking up at the water fall she had just tumbled down she decided to keep moving.’
    • ‘I turned over to find I had fallen down the stairs, and I had also hit my arm against the banister as I tumbled down.’
    • ‘He tumbled down towards the ground, Flintar trailing him.’
    fall, fall over, fall down, topple over, lose one's footing, lose one's balance, keel over, pitch over, take a spill, collapse, fall headlong, fall head over heels, fall end over end
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    1. 1.1 Move or rush in a headlong or uncontrolled way.
      ‘police and dogs tumbled from the vehicle’
      • ‘I'm parked in front of the television my thumb resting on the remote control volume button in case the kids decide to noisily tumble into the room.’
      • ‘We tumbled out of the vehicle and took in the view.’
      • ‘He moved out of her way as she nearly tumbled into the aisle.’
      • ‘She saw them tumbling towards her and rushed to help them.’
      • ‘Ten minutes late, he tumbles into the room in a kind of flailing pirouette, scatter gunning apologies.’
      • ‘As she said it, she flung the door open, and a young man tumbled into the room.’
      • ‘India tumbles on uncontrollably to becoming the diabetes capital of the world.’
      • ‘Doug turned so I wouldn't hit the floor and we tumbled into the room causing several heads to turn.’
      • ‘The pair tumbled into his room, pitch black with night.’
      • ‘They all tumbled into their room, getting out their work.’
      • ‘Charles tumbled out of the room, and leaped to his feet.’
      • ‘They ran up together as fast as they could and tumbled into Ginnys room.’
      hurry, rush, scramble, pile
      cascade, fall, stream, flow, pour, spill
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    2. 1.2 Fall rapidly in amount or value.
      ‘property prices tumbled’
      • ‘There's more money around, people are experimenting and the price of cocaine is tumbling.’
      • ‘A silver lining in the world economy can be found in the global oil market, where prices have been tumbling in recent weeks.’
      • ‘Stock prices tumbled today on word of a big drop in consumer confidence.’
      • ‘The company was slow to react when rival cut their prices and sales tumbled.’
      • ‘The market value of wealth has tumbled, the real estate bubble looks set to burst, and unemployment is now rising sharply.’
      • ‘Estate agents predict house values could tumble.’
      • ‘Will the arrival of new broadband services see prices tumble?’
      • ‘In an economic slowdown, corporate profits fall and stock prices tumble, too.’
      • ‘Homeownership is a key source of consumer wealth, and home values have been rising even as stock prices have tumbled.’
      • ‘The football club's market value has now tumbled from £34.9 million in September last year.’
      • ‘Share prices tumbled, and the total value of shares in Britain is less than half what it was at the height of the 1990s boom.’
      • ‘Prices continue to tumble, and the machines grow ever faster.’
      • ‘Prices have tumbled.’
      • ‘Prices tumbled, imports poured in, banks lost their silver reserves and collapsed, and industrial firms went bankrupt for lack of cash.’
      • ‘The weather is still glorious, the crowds have thinned out and prices have tumbled.’
      • ‘Picture phones: you might sniff at them now, but picture phones are becoming more pervasive and prices are tumbling.’
      • ‘Homeowners, watching the value of their flats tumble, complain that he flip-flopped on his housing policy - without telling the public.’
      • ‘U.S. Cattle prices tumbled almost 18 percent as a $3 billion export market blinked out.’
      • ‘Home owners have complained that the parade of neglected shops and flats on St George's Avenue has sent property prices in the area tumbling and left them unable to sell their houses.’
      • ‘In a recent article, The Times newspaper suggested there could be an oversupply of natural gas in two years and prices could tumble.’
      fall sharply, fall steeply, plummet, plunge, dive, nosedive, take a dive, drop rapidly, slump, slide, fall, decrease, decline
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    3. 1.3with object Rumple; disarrange.
      ‘his tumbled bedclothes’
      tousle, dishevel, ruffle, rumple, make untidy, disarrange, disorder, mess up
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  • 2no object Perform acrobatic feats, typically handsprings and somersaults in the air.

    • ‘I will probably have to get surgery after Worlds because, for now, I can't tumble at all.’
    • ‘In 1999, she suffered the same injury to her left knee while tumbling on floor exercise.’
    • ‘Gonzales tumbled well on floor, showing a double layout, Arabian double front, full-in, and whip to double pike.’
    • ‘They tumble, juggle, balance, swing and hula hoop with a confidence and humour far beyond what you would expect for students of a tertiary course.’
    • ‘Stacey's parents saw talent in their daughter, who loved tumbling on their front lawn with her best friend.’
    • ‘She remembered weather like this when she would get thrown up in stunts, yelling out cheers, tumbling until it hurt.’
    • ‘On floor exercise one gymnast tumbled a double layout, two whips to double pike, and stuck full-in dismount.’
    • ‘A fractured bone in her foot restricted Pam to tumbling and vaulting only once a week leading up to the competition.’
    • ‘They threw themselves through the air, others tumbled, cartwheeled and bounced.’
    • ‘She earned her highest score of the day, a 9.525, on floor exercise, where she tumbled a split-leg double layout.’
    • ‘People who easily tumble on land can become quickly disoriented trying to do the same move in the water.’
    • ‘The specialized art of jumping, tumbling, and balancing, requiring agility and skilful control of the body.’
    • ‘Being able to balance on her hands, to turn cartwheels, to tumble and flip is part of who she is.’
    • ‘But he tumbled several high double layouts on floor exercise, and caught both a Kolman and layout Kovacs on high bar.’
    • ‘If you want to juggle, fly on the trapeze, tumble: here's the place to do it.’
    1. 2.1 (of a breed of pigeon) repeatedly turn over backwards in flight.
  • 3with object Dry (washing) in a tumble dryer.

    ‘the machine gentle tumbles the clothes in cool air for ten minutes’
    • ‘The drying process for doing laundry at home is either hanging clothes on a clothesline or tumbling them in a gas- or electric-heated dryer.’
  • 4tumble toinformal no object Understand the meaning or hidden implication of (a situation)

    ‘she'll ring again as soon as she tumbles to what she's done’
    • ‘Rather oddly, Mrs Waters does not now or later tumble to Tom's identity.’
    realize, understand, grasp, comprehend, take in, apprehend, perceive, see, recognize
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  • 5informal with object Have sexual intercourse with.

    ‘he was tumbling a strange woman’
  • 6with object Clean (castings, gemstones, etc.) in a tumbling barrel.

noun

  • 1A sudden or headlong fall.

    ‘I took a tumble in the nettles’
    • ‘Hopefully, the drawbacks will be overcome before somebody else takes a painful tumble on the daunting steps in the inky gloom.’
    • ‘He is in such decline his defeat only emphasised that the tumble is irreversible.’
    • ‘The condition means a simple tumble can leave the 14-year-old with broken bones and Hayley has suffered more than 200 fractures since she was born.’
    • ‘Her helmet had fallen off in the undignified tumble.’
    • ‘The day was filled with crashes and tumbles in the deep powder.’
    • ‘McSharry won despite taking a tumble at the 23-miles mark.’
    • ‘When he tumbles headlong down some stairs, we're treated to a slow-motion pan, looking down on him.’
    • ‘In my fifth month, I received a phonecall from England informing me that my grandfather had fallen over; nothing life-threatening, just a simple tumble in the garden.’
    • ‘He has failed to recover fully from the broken neck which he suffered in a horrible tumble.’
    • ‘You take your tumbles with good grace and always come up smiling.’
    • ‘He certainly gave it his all until a tumble in the second half saw him pick up an horrific leg injury.’
    • ‘She took a tumble and banged up her left knee.’
    • ‘I caught up with the globetrotting Frenchman in Brisbane and discovered that besides the odd tumble from his motorbike, Gerard has also fallen in love.’
    • ‘Ry jumped around stage in excitement before falling off it in a faked tumble of limbs.’
    • ‘The woman fell to the ground in a small tumble.’
    • ‘She has taken a tumble before, but the compulsory crash helmet, leathers and gloves prevented injuries.’
    • ‘He took a nasty tumble.’
    • ‘Fulham appeal for a penalty when Brevett takes a tumble in the area.’
    • ‘A competitor in the under 17 race was taken to casualty with a damaged shoulder after taking a tumble on the descent.’
    • ‘‘I didn't feel great,’ she admitted, confessing to having had a hip injury since she took a tumble in her previous track race in America last weekend.’
    fall, trip, spill
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    1. 1.1 A rapid fall in amount or value.
      ‘a tumble in share prices’
      • ‘Last week, as the company's shares took a tumble, they must have been asking if their golden goose was about to be slain.’
      • ‘Demand is suddenly more than sated and the price of chips takes a mighty tumble.’
      • ‘Lamb producers are bracing themselves for a tumble in prices.’
      • ‘Wool prices took a tumble in Sydney and Melbourne yesterday.’
      • ‘There is a lot of upset around its share price tumble.’
      • ‘Prices have taken a tumble.’
      • ‘The crash had a period of exuberance followed by an alarmingly rapid tumble.’
      • ‘Here are five companies that could falter should house prices take a tumble.’
      • ‘So far this year, sizeable share price tumbles are running at half the rate seen during last year.’
      • ‘Flabbergasted auctioneer Keith Lomax blamed Beckham's penalty stumble for the tumble in prices.’
      • ‘There had been fears that Friday's game would have hit the markets badly, with thousands taking a day off work and share prices taking a tumble, whatever the outcome.’
      • ‘Like his marriage, the shares took a tumble.’
      • ‘Despite the predictions, some first-time buyers remained confident there would be a tumble in prices.’
      • ‘What if interest rates were to suddenly rise sharply or prices in the capital were to take a tumble?’
      • ‘Telecommunications stocks have taken a tumble, but some telecom CEOs still managed to create value for their shareholders.’
      • ‘The company's shares inevitably took a tumble.’
      • ‘The airline's shares recorded a further 19% one-day tumble after warning of the impact of higher fuel prices.’
      • ‘The tumble erased 4.4 billion euros from the company's market value for the week.’
      drop, fall, plunge, dive, nosedive, slump, decline, collapse
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    2. 1.2 An untidy or confused arrangement or state.
      ‘her hair was a tumble of untamed curls’
      • ‘Her tumble of glossy black curls hid everything but the tip of her nose.’
      • ‘He had tumbles of dark hair past his shoulders, a smirking mouth and a naturally flirty gaze.’
      • ‘Her tumble of raven colored hair fell across her shoulders spilling into her lap.’
      • ‘Her hair was a tumble of blonde curls.’
      • ‘I would have recognized the set of her back and the tumble of her blond hair anywhere.’
      • ‘A young man stepped into the firelight, his face partly obscured by tumbles of dark brown hair.’
      • ‘I heard the soft snick of a door as the glaring lights and confused tumble of sound was shut away.’
      • ‘His bloodshot, blue eyes were hidden behind a tumble of greasy brown hair.’
      jumble, mess, clutter, confusion
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  • 2A handspring, somersault in the air, or other acrobatic feat.

    • ‘He did the high wire. He did the acrobat tumbles.’
    • ‘I have never recaptured the excitement of running up to begin a tumble or of preparing for that first round-off and back-flip.’
    • ‘Hampton has been into fitness since she took her first tumble in gymnastics as a young girl.’
    • ‘She can perform huge vertical or horizontal leaps, often resulting in gymnastic tumbles and rolls in midair.’
  • 3informal An act of sexual intercourse.

    • ‘I figured anyone who's that good in bed would definitely be worth a tumble.’
  • 4US informal A friendly sign of recognition, acknowledgement, or interest.

    ‘not a soul gave him a tumble’

Origin

Middle English (as a verb, also in the sense ‘dance with contortions’): from Middle Low German tummelen; compare with Old English tumbian ‘to dance’. The sense was probably influenced by Old French tomber ‘to fall’. The noun, first in the sense ‘tangled mass’, dates from the mid 17th century.

Pronunciation

tumble

/ˈtʌmb(ə)l/