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Related to stumbling: stumbling block, stumbling upon

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. Primarily heard in US, Australia. 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 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: 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 ?
She was having a grand old time and towards the tail end she was stumbling in her heels and almost toppled right over.
Those pesky financial stumbling blocks have been a constant thorn in the club's side during the Roman Abramovich era.
In the video, the unidentified woman can be seen stepping off the train before stumbling backwards and falling down the gap between the train and the platform.
GREG CUNNINGHAM Club: Manchester City Value: Loan Lowdown: Young Irish international adventurous left-back who impressed on loan at Leicester City last year Stumbling Blocks: Still to come back from injury that curtailed spell at Walkers.
Users can narrow their stumbling to a particular category, such as Photography or Science, or browse through pages in no particular category.
Turkey's Modernization is a fascinating parable of how Turkey capitalized upon the best and the brightest--as well as of its stumbling blocks, such as its cultural predispositions for encouraging talented scientists to be content as hired hands rather than strike out and forge new businesses.
Entry 18 in the Amelia Peabody series finds the Emerson clan and friends in Luxor during the 1922 digging season stumbling over the usual dead bodies but not stumbling over the tomb of King Tutankhamen.
The stumbling blocks were the bureaucrats on both sides of the Atlantic.
He speaks of those who cause the little ones to stumble and of the terrible and eschatological consequences of being the cause of another's stumbling.
Of course there are two stumbling blocks which may get in the way of the 750 million euro project.
The Doctor and Rose stumble across Queen Victoria (Pauline Collins) who is stumbling into a trap laid by marauding kung-fu fighting monks - who have ditched God to worship a demonic werewolf.
The twelve laws of Thought, Change, Vision, Command, Magnetism, Focus, Action, Value, Relationships, Suppy, Persistence and Truth are discussed at length, with step-by-step formulas for dealing with common internal stumbling blocks and study questions for further thought and contemplation.
The Trojans (10-0) and Texas (10-0) are the only two undefeated teams left in the nation, and USC shows no signs of stumbling before the Rose Bowl.
First detected in 1967 in Colorado, the fatal neurological disease causes weight loss, stumbling and tremors.
Still, he warns his readers to "take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak" and reminds them that "when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ" (1 Cor.