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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. © 2015 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 ?
Nelson had a 33-yard kickoff return in the third quarter, but he fumbled to give UC Davis the ball at the Oregon 31.
Kenny fumbled a Claude Davis header and then brought down Andy Johnson as he desperately tried to retrieve the ball.
"I'm talking about a man." He fumbled again and stopped and told me to go get a match.
Five snaps later, Marshall fumbled again after catching a pass in the red zone, but his do-everything quarterback, Marcus Mariota, recovered.
Three times they fumbled restart kicks, having initially secured the ball then lost it.
I think they fumbled on their first four possessions and didn't really give themselves a chance."
He scored on a 2-yard run early in the fourth, making it 31-10 after Coan fumbled deep in Badgers territory.
Edelman fumbled twice on a second-quarter punt return -- he recovered his initial muff and teammate Michael Buchanan bailed him out on the second one.
The Oregon sophomore fumbled the first two times he touched the ball and three times in heavy rain during the first quarter, but Oregon recovered all three and Marshall overcame those fumbles with a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter as Oregon blew past California early in a 55-16 victory on Saturday night at Autzen Stadium.
And the pressure proved too much for goalkeeper Peter Keen who handed the home side a lucky point when he fumbled a cross from Richie Appleby into his own net in the 83rd minute.
The Red Devils eventually fumbled the ball at the 5:54 mark and Vienna-Goreville ran it back for a touchdown, closing to within 42-30.
Let's start with running back LeGarrette Blount, who fumbled at the end of a 7-yard run that would have given the Patriots a second-and-3 at the Cincinnati 25 with just under eight minutes left in the first half of a scoreless game.
But the 5-foot-11, 215-pound Taylor also had six carries that each gained more than 10 yards, though his long gain of 18 yards ended with a turnover to the Ducks when he fumbled.
When the Chargers fumbled on their second play, Wilson and the Eagles quickly made it 14-0.
The Demon Deacons fumbled the ball away on a sloppy pitchout on their second play of the game, giving BC the ball at the 27.