SKIP TO CONTENT

tumbler

The noun tumbler can refer either to an acrobat who performs gymnastic tricks or to a tall drinking glass with straight sides. If you own a lot of glass tumblers, you probably shouldn't let a troupe of tumblers practice back flips in your kitchen.

Gymnasts are often called tumblers because they are skilled at tumbling, namely skills like round-offs, flips, aerials, and back handsprings. When an object is a tumbler, it's simply a drinking glass. Though today's drinking tumblers have flat bottoms, back in the 15th century they were rounded or pointed and couldn't be set down between drinks, or else they would topple over — or tumble.

Definitions of tumbler
  1. noun
    a gymnast who performs rolls and somersaults and twists etc.
    see moresee less
    types:
    turner
    a tumbler who is a member of a turnverein
    type of:
    gymnast
    an athlete who is skilled in gymnastics
  2. noun
    pigeon that executes backward somersaults in flight or on the ground
    synonyms: roller, tumbler pigeon
    see moresee less
    type of:
    domestic pigeon
    domesticated pigeon raised for sport or food
  3. noun
    a glass with a flat bottom but no handle or stem; originally had a round bottom
    see moresee less
    type of:
    drinking glass, glass
    a container for holding liquids while drinking
  4. noun
    a movable obstruction in a lock that must be adjusted to a given position (as by a key) before the bolt can be thrown
    see moresee less
    types:
    lever, lever tumbler
    a flat metal tumbler in a lever lock
    pin, pin tumbler
    cylindrical tumblers consisting of two parts that are held in place by springs; when they are aligned with a key the bolt can be thrown
    type of:
    impediment, impedimenta, obstructer, obstruction, obstructor
    any structure that makes progress difficult
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week