Definition of bumble in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈbəmbəl/


1 [no object] Move or act in an awkward or confused manner: they bumbled around the house
More example sentences
  • The Flames have stumbled and bumbled around the offensive zone all series, particularly when the incomparable Iginla hasn't been on the ice.
  • His IQ was plummeting at each attempt, so to keep him from reaching zero I slowly edged by as he bumbled around on the roadside readying for another go.
  • All through Coronation Street he bumbled around, not ever quite standing out.
2 [no object] Speak in a confused or indistinct way: the succeeding speakers bumbled
More example sentences
  • Legislative Assembly Speaker Judy Maddigan was not there, although bumbling and soon departing Jim Claven was, chairing the meeting so tragically that Bracksy didn't even notice him.
  • And in a parliamentary debate before the war, he rescued a bumbling John Major by speaking passionately in favour of war.
  • When he won, the elite questioned whether the college dropout was up to running the country and scoffed at his reputation as a bumbling public speaker, bon vivant and serial womanizer.
2.1 [with adverbial] (Of an insect) buzz or hum: she watched a bee bumble among the flowers
More example sentences
  • A bee bumbles along near the Alyssum in the garden, importantly busy.
  • The bee bumbled too close to the snake for my comfort.
  • A fat bee bumbled past, hardly clearing the ground.



Pronunciation: /ˈbəmblər/
Example sentences
  • Not a few biographies of Napoleon portray him as a megalomaniac (for which there is real evidence in the later years of the empire) and even a bumbler.
  • He was unpopular, seen as a political bumbler, and during his time hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in massive pro-democracy protests.
  • The CIA was not impressed, dismissing the would-be politician as an inept bumbler.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'hum, drone'): from boom1 + -le4.

Words that rhyme with bumble

crumble, fumble, grumble, humble, jumble, mumble, rough-and-tumble, rumble, scumble, stumble, tumble, umbel

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bum·ble

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.