Definition of tumble in English:

tumble

Line breaks: tum¦ble
Pronunciation: /ˈtʌmb(ə)l
 
/

verb

  • 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.
  • 2.1(Of a breed of pigeon) repeatedly turn over backwards in flight.
  • 3Fall rapidly in amount or value: property prices tumbled
    More 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.
    Synonyms
    fall steeply/sharply, plummet, plunge, dive, nosedive, take a dive, drop rapidly, slump, slide, fall, decrease, decline
    informal crash, go into a tailspin
  • 4 [with object] Dry (washing) in a tumble dryer: the machine gentle tumbles the clothes in cool air for ten minutes
    More 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.
  • 6 [with object] informal Have sexual intercourse with: he was tumbling a strange woman
  • 7 [with object] Clean (castings, gemstones, etc.) in a tumbling barrel.

noun

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  • 1A sudden or headlong fall: I took a tumble in the nettles
    More 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.
    Synonyms
  • 1.1An untidy or confused arrangement or state: her hair was a tumble of untamed curls
    More 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.
    Synonyms
    jumble, mess, clutter, confusion; chaos, disorder, disarray
  • 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 prices
    More 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.
    Synonyms
    drop, fall, plunge, dive, nosedive, slump, decline, collapse
    informal crash
  • 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.
  • 5US informal A friendly sign of recognition, acknowledgement, or interest: not a soul gave him a tumble

Origin

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.

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