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take a tumble

1. Literally, to fall suddenly to the ground. I took a bit of a tumble walking home from the pub last night, hence the bruises on my face.
2. To suffer a sudden fall or decline, as of profits, health, quality, etc. The price of shares in the tech giant took a tumble on Tuesday after it emerged that they had been manipulating sales figures over the last five years. My father has been doing remarkably well in his battle with cancer, but he has taken a tumble in the last few days.
See also: take, tumble

rough and tumble

Rowdy, disorderly, and boisterous; marked by scuffles or infighting. (Hyphenated if used before a noun.) The kids started getting a bit too rough and tumble when their cousin Jake came over. It's healthy for them to have a bit of rough-and-tumble play, so long as they make time for quiet play, as well.
See also: and, rough, tumble

the rough and tumble of (something)

A situation marred by or known for disorderly or aggressive infighting, arguing, or competitiveness. (An allusion to a boxing match in which there are no rules.) I just wanted to make a difference to the people who lived in my community; I wasn't prepared for the rough and tumble of local politics.
See also: and, of, rough, tumble


 and rough-and-ready
disorderly; aggressive. That was a rough-and-tumble football game. George is too rough-and-ready for me. He doesn't know how to act around civilized people.

tumble along

to roll or bounce along. The ball tumbled along, across the lawn and into the street. As the boulder tumbled along, it crushed everything in its path.
See also: tumble

tumble down

to fall down; to topple. The old barn was so rickety that it almost tumbled down on its own. The pile of books tumbled down all over the floor.
See also: down, tumble

tumble from something

to fall from something. The food tumbled from the tray and fell to the floor. The books tumbled from the shelf during the earthquake.
See also: tumble

tumble into bed

to get into or fall into bed. Liz went home and tumbled into bed.
See also: bed, tumble

tumble into someone or something

to fall down and roll into someone or something. (Either accidentally or on purpose.) Liz tripped and tumbled into the table. She tumbled into Ken.
See also: tumble

tumble out of something

to fall, topple, or drop out of something. Don't let the baby tumble out of the chair! Thechildren tumbled out of the car and ran for the school building.
See also: of, out, tumble

tumble over

to fall over. The vase tumbled over and broke. I held Timmy up to keep him from tumbling over.
See also: over, tumble

tumble over someone or something

to trip or stumble over someone or something and fall down. I tumbled over Fred, who was napping under the tree. I tumbled over a chair and fell down.
See also: over, tumble

tumble over (something)

to fall over the edge of something. Stay away from the edge. I don't want any of you tumbling over it. Don't go too close. You'll tumble over.
See also: over, tumble

tumble someone or something down something

to tip or push someone or something down something. Timmy tumbled his brother down the hill. Ann tumbled her laundry down the chute.
See also: down, tumble

rough and tumble

Disorderly scuffling or infighting, as in She had some reservations about entering the rough and tumble of local politics. This expression originated in the late 1700s in boxing, where it referred to a fight without rules. [Mid-1800s]
See also: and, rough, tumble

rough and tumble

COMMON You use rough and tumble to mean a situation in which there is a lot of arguing or competition and people do not worry about upsetting or harming others. Whoever expected leaders in the rough and tumble of electoral politics to be nice or fair? Note: You can use rough-and-tumble before a noun. He started his political career in the rough-and-tumble world of student politics. Note: You usually use this expression when you think that this is normal or acceptable behaviour. Note: Originally, a rough and tumble was a boxing match in which there were no rules or restrictions.
See also: and, rough, tumble

rough and tumble

a situation without rules or organization; a free-for-all.
The expression originated in 19th-century boxing slang.
See also: and, rough, tumble

rough and ˈtumble

1 a situation in which people compete with each other and are aggressive in order to get what they want: In the rough and tumble of politics you can’t trust anyone.
2 a noisy but not serious fight: The toddlers often join in the rough and tumble of the older children’s games.
See also: and, rough, tumble

tumble down

1. To topple, as from power or a high position; fall: That horse started out the race in the lead, but tumbled down to fifth place.
2. To collapse: The wall tumbled down when I leaned on it.
See also: down, tumble

tumble on

or tumble upon
To come upon something accidentally; happen on something: We tumbled on a nice restaurant while walking downtown.
See also: on, tumble

tumble to

v. Slang
To come to some sudden understanding; catch on to something: I tumbled to the reality that the other card players were cheating.
See also: tumble

rough and tumble

mod. disorderly; aggressive. George is too rough and tumble for me. He doesn’t know how to act around civilized people.
See also: and, rough, tumble
References in periodicals archive ?
JW Tumbles CEO Ash Robinson will become head of the Kidville Franchise Division.
Says Kidville Chairman and CEO, Andy Stenzler, "JW Tumbles has a successful 20+ year history, a talented management team led by Ash Robinson, and an excellent network of franchisees.
As waves recede, the rocks tumble against one another with an audible clatter.
Kallum performed a series of dynamic tumbles demonstrating his style, power and strength.
Phil Barrow, the City of Birmingham Gymnastics Development Officer and star coach of the BBC's Tumble programme, said: "Tumbling at the City of Birmingham's Gymnastics Club is going from strength to strength after five years since the discipline of tumbling was introduced to its programme at the Gymnastics and Martial Arts Centre.
In the over 13 age group, Cara contested the National Grade 2 tumbles and came tenth while Heather posted a gritty seventh position in the National Grade 3 equivalent.
Lucas and Tayla produced high finishes in the Elite Grade 1 tumbles at nine to ten-yearold with the former coming fourth and his team-mate sixth.
But because Toutatis tumbles so slowly--over a period of about 6 days rather than several hours--the asteroid won't generate enough heat to damp the motion for another trillion years, Hudson notes.
Lord Tumble, Grandad Tumble and Cliff Tumble will star alongside Mr Tumble in a spectacular show presented by CBeebies Live
They worked very hard on improving their tumbles to show that they are among the best for their level, not only in our region but nationally.
Her tumbles were powerful yet precise and her scores reflected this.
Ward, Hogan and Cummings had to be flown down from New Jersey for 10 days to reaply their postlaunch remedy for "the tumbles," but other than that, says Karras, "it didn't cost any money.
But as a result, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's $50 million NOAA-8 weather satellite is about to go back on the job, nearly a year after it suddenly started to tumble uselessly in space.
Jaydon and Louisa did a great job, performing dynamic high-quality tumbles.