- 1 [no object, with adverbial] Fall suddenly, clumsily, or headlong: she pitched forward, tumbling down the remaining stairsMore example sentences
- They tumbled down, falling down a small hill then down some brush.
- Fat drops tumbled down to slick the streets.
- Looking up at the water fall she had just tumbled down she decided to keep moving.
- 1.1Move or rush in a headlong or uncontrolled way: police and dogs tumbled from the vehicleMore example sentences
- She saw them tumbling towards her and rushed to help them.
- India tumbles on uncontrollably to becoming the diabetes capital of the world.
- They ran up together as fast as they could and tumbled into Ginnys room.
- 2 [no object] Perform acrobatic feats, typically handsprings and somersaults in the air.More example sentences
- On floor exercise one gymnast tumbled a double layout, two whips to double pike, and stuck full-in dismount.
- In 1999, she suffered the same injury to her left knee while tumbling on floor exercise.
- I will probably have to get surgery after Worlds because, for now, I can't tumble at all.
- 3Fall rapidly in amount or value: property prices tumbledMore example sentences
- Homeowners, watching the value of their flats tumble, complain that he flip-flopped on his housing policy - without telling the public.
- 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.
- The market value of wealth has tumbled, the real estate bubble looks set to burst, and unemployment is now rising sharply.
- 4 [with object] Dry (washing) in a tumble dryer: the machine gentle tumbles the clothes in cool air for ten minutesMore example sentences
- The drying process for doing laundry at home is either hanging clothes on a clothesline or tumbling them in a gas- or electric-heated dryer.
- 5 [no object] (tumble to) • informal Understand the meaning or hidden implication of (a situation): she’ll ring again as soon as she tumbles to what she’s doneMore example sentences
realize, understand, grasp, comprehend, take in, apprehend, perceive, see, recognize; see the light• informal latch on to, cotton on to, catch on to, get, get wise to, get one's head around, figure out, get a fix on, get the message, get the picture, have an aha momentNorth American • informal savvy
- Rather oddly, Mrs Waters does not now or later tumble to Tom's identity.
nounBack to top
- 1A sudden or headlong fall: I took a tumble in the nettlesMore example sentences
- When he tumbles headlong down some stairs, we're treated to a slow-motion pan, looking down on him.
- A competitor in the under 17 race was taken to casualty with a damaged shoulder after taking a tumble on the descent.
- 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.
- 1.1An untidy or confused arrangement or state: her hair was a tumble of untamed curlsMore example sentences
- Her hair was a tumble of blonde curls.
- A young man stepped into the firelight, his face partly obscured by tumbles of dark brown hair.
- He had tumbles of dark hair past his shoulders, a smirking mouth and a naturally flirty gaze.
- 2A handspring, somersault in the air, or other acrobatic feat.More example sentences
- She can perform huge vertical or horizontal leaps, often resulting in gymnastic tumbles and rolls in midair.
- 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.
- 3A rapid fall in amount or value: a tumble in share pricesMore example sentences
- 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.
- So far this year, sizeable share price tumbles are running at half the rate seen during last year.
- There is a lot of upset around its share price tumble.
- 4 • informal An act of sexual intercourse.More example sentences
- I figured anyone who's that good in bed would definitely be worth a tumble.
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.