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Related to stumble: stumble into

stumble at a straw

To be thwarted or unsettled by a minor issue or problem. Overall, your grades are great, so don't stumble at a straw and abandon your studies because of this one B. You can't rely on Kelsey, she always stumbles at a straw and gets rattled by the slightest problem.
See also: straw, stumble

stumbling block

A challenge or hindrance that prevents something from being accomplished. Stay away from your old friends—their drug use will be a stumbling block in your recovery from alcoholism. We're trying to sell the house, but its undesirable location has proved to be a real stumbling block.
See also: block, stumble

stumble across (something)

To find, discover, or happen upon something casually or by chance. I stumbled across this fantastic little café the other day. Let me know if you stumble across my keys; I haven't been able to find them.
See also: across, stumble

stumble across someone or something

 and stumble (up)on someone or something; stumble into someone or something
to find someone or something, usually by accident. I stumbled across an interesting book yesterday when I was shopping. Guess who I stumbled into at the library yesterday? I got lucky and stumbled on the right answer.
See also: across, stumble

stumble into someone or something

1. to trip and lurch into someone or something. Not seeing the brick in the path, Carl tripped and stumbled into Alice. Jamie stumbled into the wall.
2. Go to stumble across someone or something.
See also: stumble

stumble on someone or something

1. Go to stumble across someone or something.
2. to trip over someone or something. There were three of us sleeping in the small tent. Each of us would stumble on the others whenever we went out or came in. I stumbled on the curb and twisted my ankle.
See also: on, stumble

stumble over someone or something

to trip over someone or something. Tom stumbled over Bill, who was napping on the floor. Don't stumble over the laundry basket.
See also: over, stumble

stumble through something

to get through a sequence of something awkwardly and falteringly. The cast stumbled through the first act and barely finished the second. Mary stumbled through her speech and fled from the stage.
See also: stumble, through

stumbling block

Fig. something that prevents or obstructs progress. We'd like to buy that house, but the high price is a stumbling block. Jim's age is a stumbling block to getting another job. He's over sixty.
See also: block, stumble

stumble across

Also, stumble on. Find by chance, discover or meet with unexpectedly. For example, When we were hiking up the mountain we stumbled across a few abandoned shepherd's huts , or At the flea market Alfred stumbled on a quite valuable old lithograph. This idiom uses stumble in the sense of "accidentally trip." [Mid-1500s]
See also: across, stumble

stumbling block

A hindrance or obstacle, as in His lack of a degree is a real stumbling block to his advancement. This term originally meant "a tree stump over which one trips." Its figurative use dates from the early 1500s.
See also: block, stumble

a stumbling block

COMMON If you describe something as a stumbling block, you mean it is a problem which stops you from achieving something. It's her attitude that's the biggest stumbling block. Cost is a major stumbling block in the hunt for a vaccine. Note: This expression comes from the Bible: `...that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.' (Romans 14:13)
See also: block, stumble

stumble across

To come upon someone or something accidentally or unexpectedly: I had given up finding my keys when I stumbled across them lying under the dresser. On my way to work this morning, I stumbled across an old friend I hadn't seen in years.
See also: across, stumble

stumble on

or stumble upon
1. To trip and almost fall on account of hitting the foot or stepping on something: He stumbled on the curb and fell. She stumbled upon a tree root.
2. To come upon something accidentally or unexpectedly: I happened to stumble on my jacket when I wasn't even looking for it. The detective stumbled upon the truth while thinking about something else.
See also: on, stumble


1. and stum [st?m] and stumble-bumbles (ˈstəmblæˈbəmblæz) n. barbiturates; sedatives; tranquilizers; alcohol. (Drugs.) Kelly was shocked to find a handful of stumble-bumbles in his brother’s jeans.
2. n. the inability to stand up and walk straight. I guess I have the stumbles today. Not enough sleep, I guess.
See also: stumble


References in periodicals archive ?
My prayer is that all of us will do our part to remove the blocks that cause these children and youth to stumble on their way to Jesus.
With more than 6 million users and over 12 million stumbles daily, StumbleUpon is the leading way to discover great content on the Internet.
As Jack and Tyler descend into the caves they stumble upon a fascinating lost world, where a deadly species waits, hungry for fresh human flesh.
This feature allows visitors to easily Stumble through content, rate and submit pages from the partner's site to StumbleUpon, increasing their Web site's potential for viral distribution.
During the experimental phase of the study, Huang is collecting data from able-bodied individuals and those using prosthetic legs to determine what kind of physiological signals can be detected for use in developing a stumble detection system.
In Walk Away And I Stumble, Claire embarks on an affair with a married man, played by Mark Strong, breaking up his happy home life.
By allowing people to now Stumble without registering or downloading a toolbar, we will surface the best content on the Web to an even wider audience.
The Stumble Light - which utilizes motion-detection and LED technology -- is a simple solution to the problem of keeping on or turning on bright, overhead lights.
Beaumont said that he was thrilled with the way the expedition had worked and hoped that the Ascot management might stumble across equivalent exotic runners for next year's meeting.
Avoiding manifest dangers of the winter landscape will help minimize the dangers of falling, but still we stumble.
But two victories this spring suggested Equiano was on his way back and, ridden by the trainer's son, Michael, he overcame a stumble at the start to beat Markab by a length and a half.
But once you move beyond the film's rigorous braininess and authentic feel, you stumble into a thicket of overlapping dialogue, jump cuts and an unwillingness on the part of Carruth to at least leave a trail of bread crumbs behind him.
JILBAB gave Godolphin yet another Grade 1 success when overcoming a bad stumble at the start to win the Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park on Saturday, writes Dan Farley.