fumble

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Related to fumbling: stammering

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 ?
Wilfred Owen described it better in the more serious situation in his immortal poem, 'Dulce et Decorum Esr', as 'an ecstasy of fumbling' and the description also works here.
Bush ended what was a productive opening possession by fumbling at the Green Bay 6 after former Southern Cal teammate Clay Matthews knocked the ball out of his hands.
Drunk or sober, they shouldn't have been "fumbling" together.
As she makes some fumbling progress, a stalker warns Wollie to back off or else.
Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, then Ignored, the First Personal Computer.
Nevertheless, Fumbling the Future is a superb case study of an organization at war with itself.
They didn't need him - not with the Jets fumbling and bumbling around.
AN embarrassed Scots TV newsreader was caught fumbling with her hand inside her trousers live on air.
He said: "Shereen recently appeared on screens with her back to camera and her hand down her trousers, fumbling to retrieve a radio microphone.
If we're going to be running the option, I can't be fumbling on the 20-yard line."
He picked up 24 yards on the first two carries before fumbling on the third.
It was reminiscent of last year's divisional playoff game against the Broncos, when he was benched after fumbling in the third quarter.
The Rockets won despite fumbling on their first three possessions and not scoring until Taylor's 10-yard burst in the final minute of the first half.
The Patriots had gone 622 plays, a span of seven games, without fumbling.