Definition of bumbling in US English:



  • Acting in a confused or ineffectual way; incompetent.

    ‘he's a bumbling fool’
    • ‘Satan in the cinema is either represented as a hideous special effect or a comic, bumbling trickster.’
    • ‘With a contemplative bite of her lip, Mrs Bennet finally answered the anxious and bumbling Collins.’
    • ‘Davis was never comfortable in debates, facing the bumbling Bill Simon only once during last year's re-election campaign.’
    • ‘In the harsh glare of the campaign spotlight a picture of a bumbling Palin emerged that scared more people than it inspired.’
    • ‘Tour de force historical comedy about two bumbling botonists sent into the southern wilderness by Thomas Jefferson to look for something that isn't there.’
    • ‘With the exception of Chamberlain, the Union generals are presented as either bumbling or self-absorbed.’
    • ‘Equally adept at comedy and drama, Cranham has played bumbling detectives, passionate army dentists and good-hearted pastors with equal proficiency.’
    • ‘The film sees Rowan Atkinson bringing his bumbling Barclays Bank ad spy to the big screen.’
    • ‘The cash-strapped, bumbling terrorists decide to mount a production of Hamlet to avoid bankruptcy.’
    • ‘David Wenham plays a knockabout, bumbling political adviser whose life is falling apart.’
    • ‘The old, charming, bumbling kid has become slick and self-assured.’
    • ‘There was a wicked queen, kind-hearted heroine, dashing prince, bumbling villains and a lot of people wandering round the forest.’
    • ‘He looked a little less of the bumbling dishevelled oaf he loves to cast himself as.’
    • ‘Three bumbling French thieves with a history of botching jobs (badly) are given one last chance to make good with their boss.’
    • ‘All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death.’
    • ‘Later, Tom told me I wasn't the bumbling fool I'd thought.’
    • ‘Thus begins their humorous descent into a bumbling life of crime.’
    • ‘Equally tired is Duncan's assimilation and protection of a bumbling youth.’
    • ‘War is, of course, a lot harder to prevent than the hijacking of four large airplanes by nineteen rather bumbling immigrants.’
    • ‘Of course, we should not be too hard on the bumbling loser.’