Other forms: tumbled; tumbles

When you tumble, you fall abruptly. You might trip over your shoelaces and tumble down a hill while flying a kite if you're not careful.

To suddenly topple over or trip and fall to the ground is to tumble. Toddlers often tumble in sandboxes, while running on sidewalks, or as they climb down stairs. There's another way to tumble that is more deliberate: the form of gymnastics that involves roundoffs and back handsprings is called tumbling, and if you're able to do these tricks, you can tumble. The root is believed to be the Old English tumbian, "to dance about."

Definitions of tumble
  1. verb
    fall down, as if collapsing
    synonyms: topple
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    keel over
    turn over and fall
    type of:
    come down, descend, fall, go down
    move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way
  2. verb
    cause to topple or tumble by pushing
    synonyms: tip, topple
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    type of:
    force, push
    move with force
  3. verb
    fall apart
    synonyms: break down, collapse, crumble, crumple
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    type of:
    change integrity
    change in physical make-up
  4. verb
    fall suddenly and sharply
    “Prices tumbled after the devaluation of the currency”
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    type of:
    go down in value
  5. verb
    suffer a sudden downfall, overthrow, or defeat
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    type of:
    decline, worsen
    grow worse
  6. verb
    throw together in a confused mass
    “They tumbled the teams with no apparent pattern”
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    type of:
    jumble, scramble, throw together
    bring into random order
  7. noun
    a sudden drop from an upright position
    synonyms: fall, spill
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    a fall onto your buttocks
    a spill in some sport (as a fall from a bicycle or while skiing or being capsized on a surfboard)
    type of:
    slip, trip
    an accidental misstep threatening (or causing) a fall
  8. verb
    fly around
    “The clothes tumbled in the dryer”
    synonyms: whirl, whirl around
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    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  9. verb
    roll over and over, back and forth
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    type of:
    roll over
    make a rolling motion or turn
  10. verb
    put clothes in a tumbling barrel, where they are whirled about in hot air, usually with the purpose of drying
    “Wash in warm water and tumble dry”
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    type of:
  11. verb
    do gymnastics, roll and turn skillfully
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    execute a roll, in tumbling
    type of:
    exercise, work out
    do physical exercise
  12. noun
    an acrobatic feat of rolling or turning end over end
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    flip, somersault, somersaulting, somerset, summersault, summerset
    an acrobatic feat in which the feet roll over the head (either forward or backward) and return
    a backward somersault
    type of:
    acrobatic feat, acrobatic stunt
    a stunt performed by an acrobat
  13. verb
    understand, usually after some initial difficulty
    synonyms: catch on, cotton on, get it, get onto, get wise, latch on, twig
    see moresee less
    type of:
    apprehend, compass, comprehend, dig, get the picture, grasp, grok, savvy
    understand or perceive the meaning of something




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘tumble'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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