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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 ?
The contest, which aims to find the country's best hill fumblers, rewards the lucky winners with a romantic getaway in a posh hotel - and more than 7,000 people turned up to watch last year.
Across this easily accessible reference readers meet not only such icons as Lincoln and Lee but also chronic fumblers whose tarnished reputations have most often sunk beneath the notice of the endless waves of Civil War histories.
A panel of "eminent" judges will test entwined lovers on their trundling techniques and award points out of 10 to find the country's greatest field fumblers.
But there are timid fumblers, like Senator Hillary Clinton, who first supported then rejected a plan by Gov.
Roger Ramsden, marketing director of Prudential UK and Europe, said, ``There are some financial wizards out there, but they are outnumbered by the money fumblers.'' The research also found that 24% of people don't check their monthly credit card statements, and only 35% know what interest rate they are paid on their savings.
THE egg fumblers got their dream result on Saturday.
Executives, those unexamined pillars of the community, have such press immunity, and such scorn for the fumblers in public office (any fumbling of their own passing unrecorded), that when one of them is persuaded to go to Washington as a public duty, is subjected to brash reportorial questions, and is no longer safe behind an imposing walnut desk and the stillness of wall-to-wall carpeting, he often seems somewhat less spectacular.
Across this easily accessible reference, readers meet not only such icons as Lincoln and Lee, but also chronic fumblers whose tarnished reputations have most often sunk beneath the notice of the endless waves of Civil War histories.
The reader will find much about the fumblers, but little about those realities, and even less about the intellectual and moral mechanisms of the fumbling and denial.
Stalin also deluded himself about the quality of his generals: like himself in the early days, they were fumblers.
Prudential UK and Europe marketing director Roger Ramsden said yesterday, ``There are some financial wizards out there but they are outnumbered by the money fumblers. ``We were amazed at the differences in understanding about basic money matters up and down the coun t ry.
But 60 per cent see UK men as unadventurous fumblers in bed, and they are far less satisfied with their partners than women elsewhere.
The former Hawthorn champion said: "They handle the ball OK, they're not fumblers. Their disposal skills are the things you have to work on and what you've got to do within games, which is probably the hardest part of all.
In thermals-and-overcoat weather usually associated more with hypothermia than burn out, Flintoff's fumblers had been detained in the field for 185.3 overs since Friday teatime when bad light stopped play with Sri Lanka 22 runs ahead on 381-6.