To stumble means to nearly fall by tripping or missing a step. When you walk over uneven cobblestones, it’s easy to stumble, so please be careful.

While stumble often means to nearly fall, it can also mean to make a misstep of a different kind. If you stumble over your words, you speak in a stuttering confused manner. Politicians make so many public decisions that they're bound to stumble — make a mistake — occasionally. When you stumble on rare mushrooms, i.e. come across them unexpectedly, be sure have the species verified before you eat them.

Definitions of stumble
  1. verb
    miss a step and fall or nearly fall
    “She stumbled over the tree root”
    synonyms: trip
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    stumble and nearly fall
    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  2. verb
    walk unsteadily
    synonyms: bumble, falter
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    type of:
    use one's feet to advance; advance by steps
  3. verb
    make an error
    synonyms: slip up, trip up
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    type of:
    err, mistake, slip
    make a mistake or be incorrect
  4. verb
    encounter by chance
    “I stumbled across a long-lost cousin last night in a restaurant”
    synonyms: hit
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    type of:
    come by, come into
    obtain, especially accidentally
  5. noun
    an unsteady, uneven gait
    synonyms: lurch, stagger
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    type of:
    a person's manner of walking
  6. noun
    an unintentional but embarrassing blunder
    synonyms: misstep, trip, trip-up
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    type of:
    bloomer, blooper, blunder, boo-boo, botch, bungle, flub, foul-up, pratfall
    an embarrassing mistake
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