Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To perform acrobatic feats such as somersaults, rolls, or twists.
  • intransitive v. To fall or roll end over end: The kittens tumbled over each other.
  • intransitive v. To spill or roll out in confusion or disorder: Students tumbled out of the bus.
  • intransitive v. To pitch headlong; fall: tumbled on the ice.
  • intransitive v. To proceed haphazardly.
  • intransitive v. To topple, as from power or a high position; fall.
  • intransitive v. To collapse: The wall tumbled down.
  • intransitive v. To drop: Prices tumbled.
  • intransitive v. To come upon accidentally; happen on: We tumbled on a fine restaurant.
  • intransitive v. Slang To come to a sudden understanding; catch on: tumbled to the reality that he had been cheated.
  • transitive v. To cause to fall; bring down: A scandal tumbled the government.
  • transitive v. To put, spill, or toss haphazardly: tumbled the extra parts into a box.
  • transitive v. To toss or whirl in a drum, tumbler, or tumbling box.
  • n. An act of tumbling; a fall.
  • n. Confusion; disorder.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fall
  • v. To fall end over end.
  • v. To perform gymnastics such as somersaults, rolls, and handsprings.
  • v. To roll over and over.
  • v. To have sexual intercourse.
  • v. To smooth and polish a rough surface on relatively small parts.
  • v. To muss, to make disorderly to tousle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To roll over, or to and fro; to throw one's self about.
  • intransitive v. To roll down; to fall suddenly and violently; to be precipitated.
  • intransitive v. To play tricks by various movements and contortions of the body; to perform the feats of an acrobat.
  • transitive v. To turn over; to turn or throw about, as for examination or search; to roll or move in a rough, coarse, or unceremonious manner; to throw down or headlong; to precipitate; -- sometimes with over, about, etc..
  • transitive v. To disturb; to rumple.
  • n. Act of tumbling, or rolling over; a fall.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To roll about by turning one way and another; toss; pitch about; wallow: as, he tumbles and tosses from pain; the tumbling sea.
  • To lose footing or support and fall to the ground; come down suddenly and violently; be precipitated; as, to tumble from a scaffold.
  • To move or go in a rough, careless, or headlong manner.
  • To play mountebank tricks by various springs, balancings, posturings, and contortions of the body.
  • To dance.
  • To fall rapidly, as prices: as, fancy stocks have tumbled.
  • To turn in; go to bed.
  • Nautical to come up hastily and in a scrambling way through the hatchway on a ship's deck, as a sailor or a number of sailors together: as, the starboard watch tumbled up.
  • To turn over; toss about as for examination or search; revolve in one's mind: usually with over.
  • To disorder; rumple: as, to tumble bedclothes.
  • To throw by chance or with violence; fling; pitch.
  • To bring down; overturn or overthrow; cast to the ground; fling headlong.
  • To polish by revolution in a tumbling-box.
  • n. A fall; a rolling or turning over; a somersault.
  • n. A state of entanglement or confusion.
  • n. Same as tumbling-box.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. suffer a sudden downfall, overthrow, or defeat
  • v. fall suddenly and sharply
  • n. an acrobatic feat of rolling or turning end over end
  • v. cause to topple or tumble by pushing
  • v. understand, usually after some initial difficulty
  • v. throw together in a confused mass
  • v. fall apart
  • v. put clothes in a tumbling barrel, where they are whirled about in hot air, usually with the purpose of drying
  • v. fall down, as if collapsing
  • n. a sudden drop from an upright position
  • v. roll over and over, back and forth
  • v. fly around
  • v. do gymnastics, roll and turn skillfully

Etymologies

Middle English tumblen, frequentative of tumben, to dance about, from Old English tumbian.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English tumblen; frequentative of Middle English tumben, from Old English tumbian. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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