fumble for

fumble for (something)

To make a clumsy, struggling attempt to find or grasp something. I fumbled for the light switch in the dark. Alice stood there, sobbing, and I fumbled for the right words to console her.
See also: for, fumble
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fumble for something

to try to grasp awkwardly for something. He fumbled for his wallet, hoping Wally would pay the bill. Tex was shot while fumbling for his gun.
See also: for, fumble
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Willamette never advanced past the Thurston 29-yard line, and that play ended in a lost fumble for the Wolverines (3-2, 1-2), who managed just 62 yards in the second half.
Smith ran for 144 yards and a touchdown while defensive end Jason Taylor also returned a fumble for a score.
"Basically it looks like history is kind of repeating itself and if I return a fumble for the third time in a row against Berlin Thunder on Sunday I'll be looking for a free pizza from somebody!"
Julian Edelman returned a fumble for a touchdown and caught a 56-yard pass for a score before leaving with a head injury.
Defensive end Roger Blaikie recovered a fumble for a touchdown in a week 7 overtime win over the Townies.
On defense, freshman Jordan Koehler had a game-high 13 tackles and forced a fumble for the AmCats.