Definition of tumble in US English:

tumble

verb

  • 1no object, with adverbial (typically of a person) fall suddenly, clumsily, or headlong.

    ‘she pitched forward, tumbling down the remaining stairs’
    • ‘All of a sudden, Alli tripped and tumbled down the steps.’
    • ‘Her body tumbled down to the ground.’
    • ‘She tumbled down the steps, and got knocked unconscious.’
    • ‘He tumbled down towards the ground, Flintar trailing him.’
    • ‘He fell forward over the baloneys edge and tumbled down.’
    • ‘Loose chunks of grit and rubble tumbled down on them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The excavator had been lowering a skip to the bottom of the hole when it tipped over the edge and tumbled down.’
    • ‘He tumbled down to the edge and narrowly managed to avoid falling to almost certain death.’
    • ‘Looking up at the water fall she had just tumbled down she decided to keep moving.’
    • ‘They tumbled down, falling down a small hill then down some brush.’
    • ‘She nearly let go and tumbled down the side of the rocks.’
    • ‘The leaves tumbled down the path, agitated by a sudden breeze.’
    • ‘He tumbled down the stairs and landed at the bottom.’
    • ‘Fat drops tumbled down to slick the streets.’
    • ‘He released the gun and tumbled down the stairs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Suddenly her heel caught in the stairs and she tumbled down, head first, ruining her flowers and expensive hair do.’
    • ‘Rebecca tumbled down after her, and Gabby fell somewhere on top of both of them.’
    • ‘With a misguided step, Darien tumbled down a steep hill.’
    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.’
      • ‘She saw them tumbling towards her and rushed to help them.’
      • ‘He moved out of her way as she nearly tumbled into the aisle.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ten minutes late, he tumbles into the room in a kind of flailing pirouette, scatter gunning apologies.’
      • ‘The pair tumbled into his room, pitch black with night.’
      • ‘They ran up together as fast as they could and tumbled into Ginnys room.’
      • ‘We tumbled out of the vehicle and took in the view.’
      • ‘They all tumbled into their room, getting out their work.’
      • ‘Charles tumbled out of the room, and leaped to his feet.’
      hurry, rush, scramble, pile
      cascade, fall, stream, flow, pour, spill
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    2. 1.2 (of something abstract) fall rapidly in amount or value.
      ‘property prices tumbled’
      • ‘The weather is still glorious, the crowds have thinned out and prices have tumbled.’
      • ‘Estate agents predict house values could tumble.’
      • ‘The football club's market value has now tumbled from £34.9 million in September last year.’
      • ‘The company was slow to react when rival cut their prices and sales tumbled.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Prices tumbled, imports poured in, banks lost their silver reserves and collapsed, and industrial firms went bankrupt for lack of cash.’
      • ‘Prices have tumbled.’
      • ‘Homeowners, watching the value of their flats tumble, complain that he flip-flopped on his housing policy - without telling the public.’
      • ‘In a recent article, The Times newspaper suggested there could be an oversupply of natural gas in two years and prices could tumble.’
      • ‘Stock prices tumbled today on word of a big drop in consumer confidence.’
      • ‘The market value of wealth has tumbled, the real estate bubble looks set to burst, and unemployment is now rising sharply.’
      • ‘There's more money around, people are experimenting and the price of cocaine is tumbling.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Picture phones: you might sniff at them now, but picture phones are becoming more pervasive and prices are tumbling.’
      • ‘Will the arrival of new broadband services see prices tumble?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A silver lining in the world economy can be found in the global oil market, where prices have been tumbling in recent weeks.’
      • ‘Prices continue to tumble, and the machines grow ever faster.’
      • ‘U.S. Cattle prices tumbled almost 18 percent as a $3 billion export market blinked out.’
      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.
      ‘he slept fitfully for the third night in a row, tumbling the covers about him as he tried to get comfortable’
      tousle, dishevel, ruffle, rumple, make untidy, disarrange, disorder, mess up
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  • 2no object Perform acrobatic or gymnastic exercises, typically handsprings and somersaults in the air.

    • ‘On floor exercise one gymnast tumbled a double layout, two whips to double pike, and stuck full-in dismount.’
    • ‘People who easily tumble on land can become quickly disoriented trying to do the same move in the water.’
    • ‘Being able to balance on her hands, to turn cartwheels, to tumble and flip is part of who she is.’
    • ‘A fractured bone in her foot restricted Pam to tumbling and vaulting only once a week leading up to the competition.’
    • ‘She remembered weather like this when she would get thrown up in stunts, yelling out cheers, tumbling until it hurt.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Stacey's parents saw talent in their daughter, who loved tumbling on their front lawn with her best friend.’
    • ‘I will probably have to get surgery after Worlds because, for now, I can't tumble at all.’
    • ‘She earned her highest score of the day, a 9.525, on floor exercise, where she tumbled a split-leg double layout.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They threw themselves through the air, others tumbled, cartwheeled and bounced.’
    • ‘The specialized art of jumping, tumbling, and balancing, requiring agility and skilful control of the body.’
    • ‘In 1999, she suffered the same injury to her left knee while tumbling on floor exercise.’
    1. 2.1 (of tumbler pigeons) repeatedly turn over backward in flight.
  • 3tumble toinformal no object Understand the meaning or hidden implication of (a situation)

    ‘she tumbled to our scam’
    • ‘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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  • 4informal with object Have sexual intercourse with (someone).

  • 5with object Clean (castings, gemstones, etc.) in a tumbling barrel.

noun

  • 1A sudden or headlong fall.

    ‘I took a tumble in the nettles’
    • ‘He has failed to recover fully from the broken neck which he suffered in a horrible tumble.’
    • ‘He certainly gave it his all until a tumble in the second half saw him pick up an horrific leg injury.’
    • ‘He took a nasty tumble.’
    • ‘You take your tumbles with good grace and always come up smiling.’
    • ‘She took a tumble and banged up her left knee.’
    • ‘Ry jumped around stage in excitement before falling off it in a faked tumble of limbs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The day was filled with crashes and tumbles in the deep powder.’
    • ‘Hopefully, the drawbacks will be overcome before somebody else takes a painful tumble on the daunting steps in the inky gloom.’
    • ‘McSharry won despite taking a tumble at the 23-miles mark.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fulham appeal for a penalty when Brevett takes a tumble in the area.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When he tumbles headlong down some stairs, we're treated to a slow-motion pan, looking down on him.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘Her helmet had fallen off in the undignified tumble.’
    • ‘A competitor in the under 17 race was taken to casualty with a damaged shoulder after taking a tumble on the descent.’
    • ‘He is in such decline his defeat only emphasised that the tumble is irreversible.’
    fall, trip, spill
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A rapid fall in amount or value.
      ‘a tumble in share prices’
      • ‘Despite the predictions, some first-time buyers remained confident there would be a tumble in prices.’
      • ‘The airline's shares recorded a further 19% one-day tumble after warning of the impact of higher fuel prices.’
      • ‘The crash had a period of exuberance followed by an alarmingly rapid tumble.’
      • ‘What if interest rates were to suddenly rise sharply or prices in the capital were to take a tumble?’
      • ‘Flabbergasted auctioneer Keith Lomax blamed Beckham's penalty stumble for the tumble in prices.’
      • ‘Here are five companies that could falter should house prices take a tumble.’
      • ‘Lamb producers are bracing themselves for a tumble in prices.’
      • ‘Demand is suddenly more than sated and the price of chips takes a mighty tumble.’
      • ‘Like his marriage, the shares took a tumble.’
      • ‘Telecommunications stocks have taken a tumble, but some telecom CEOs still managed to create value for their shareholders.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The company's shares inevitably took a tumble.’
      • ‘Prices have taken a tumble.’
      • ‘Last week, as the company's shares took a tumble, they must have been asking if their golden goose was about to be slain.’
      • ‘There is a lot of upset around its share price tumble.’
      • ‘Wool prices took a tumble in Sydney and Melbourne yesterday.’
      • ‘The tumble erased 4.4 billion euros from the company's market value for the week.’
      • ‘So far this year, sizeable share price tumbles are running at half the rate seen during last year.’
      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 raven colored hair fell across her shoulders spilling into her lap.’
      • ‘He had tumbles of dark hair past his shoulders, a smirking mouth and a naturally flirty gaze.’
      • ‘Her hair was a tumble of blonde curls.’
      • ‘His bloodshot, blue eyes were hidden behind a tumble of greasy brown hair.’
      • ‘I heard the soft snick of a door as the glaring lights and confused tumble of sound was shut away.’
      • ‘Her tumble of glossy black curls hid everything but the tip of her nose.’
      • ‘A young man stepped into the firelight, his face partly obscured by tumbles of dark brown hair.’
      • ‘I would have recognized the set of her back and the tumble of her blond hair anywhere.’
      jumble, mess, clutter, confusion
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  • 2A handspring, somersault in the air, or other acrobatic feat.

    • ‘She can perform huge vertical or horizontal leaps, often resulting in gymnastic tumbles and rolls in midair.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He did the high wire. He did the acrobat tumbles.’
  • 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, acknowledgment, 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

/ˈtəmbəl//ˈtəmbəl/