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Related to stumble: stumble into

stumble at a straw

To be thwarted or unsettled by a minor issue or problem. Overall, your grades are great, so don't stumble at a straw and abandon your studies because of this one B. You can't rely on Kelsey, she always stumbles at a straw and gets rattled by the slightest problem.
See also: straw, stumble

stumbling block

A challenge or hindrance that prevents something from being accomplished. Stay away from your old friends—their drug use will be a stumbling block in your recovery from alcoholism. We're trying to sell the house, but its undesirable location has proved to be a real stumbling block.
See also: block, stumble

stumble across someone or something

 and stumble (up)on someone or something; stumble into someone or something
to find someone or something, usually by accident. I stumbled across an interesting book yesterday when I was shopping. Guess who I stumbled into at the library yesterday? I got lucky and stumbled on the right answer.
See also: across, stumble

stumble into someone or something

1. to trip and lurch into someone or something. Not seeing the brick in the path, Carl tripped and stumbled into Alice. Jamie stumbled into the wall.
2. Go to stumble across someone or something.
See also: stumble

stumble on someone or something

1. Go to stumble across someone or something.
2. to trip over someone or something. There were three of us sleeping in the small tent. Each of us would stumble on the others whenever we went out or came in. I stumbled on the curb and twisted my ankle.
See also: on, stumble

stumble over someone or something

to trip over someone or something. Tom stumbled over Bill, who was napping on the floor. Don't stumble over the laundry basket.
See also: over, stumble

stumble through something

to get through a sequence of something awkwardly and falteringly. The cast stumbled through the first act and barely finished the second. Mary stumbled through her speech and fled from the stage.
See also: stumble, through

stumbling block

Fig. something that prevents or obstructs progress. We'd like to buy that house, but the high price is a stumbling block. Jim's age is a stumbling block to getting another job. He's over sixty.
See also: block, stumble

stumble across

Also, stumble on. Find by chance, discover or meet with unexpectedly. For example, When we were hiking up the mountain we stumbled across a few abandoned shepherd's huts , or At the flea market Alfred stumbled on a quite valuable old lithograph. This idiom uses stumble in the sense of "accidentally trip." [Mid-1500s]
See also: across, stumble

stumbling block

A hindrance or obstacle, as in His lack of a degree is a real stumbling block to his advancement. This term originally meant "a tree stump over which one trips." Its figurative use dates from the early 1500s.
See also: block, stumble

a stumbling block

COMMON If you describe something as a stumbling block, you mean it is a problem which stops you from achieving something. It's her attitude that's the biggest stumbling block. Cost is a major stumbling block in the hunt for a vaccine. Note: This expression comes from the Bible: `...that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.' (Romans 14:13)
See also: block, stumble

stumble across

To come upon someone or something accidentally or unexpectedly: I had given up finding my keys when I stumbled across them lying under the dresser. On my way to work this morning, I stumbled across an old friend I hadn't seen in years.
See also: across, stumble

stumble on

or stumble upon
1. To trip and almost fall on account of hitting the foot or stepping on something: He stumbled on the curb and fell. She stumbled upon a tree root.
2. To come upon something accidentally or unexpectedly: I happened to stumble on my jacket when I wasn't even looking for it. The detective stumbled upon the truth while thinking about something else.
See also: on, stumble


1. and stum [st?m] and stumble-bumbles (ˈstəmblæˈbəmblæz) n. barbiturates; sedatives; tranquilizers; alcohol. (Drugs.) Kelly was shocked to find a handful of stumble-bumbles in his brother’s jeans.
2. n. the inability to stand up and walk straight. I guess I have the stumbles today. Not enough sleep, I guess.
See also: stumble


References in periodicals archive ?
It is perhaps worth noting that the investigations at the Stumble largely took place some time ago, between 1986 and 1989; Bell's volume reports on 20 years' work but is largely concerned with investigations in the late 1990s and 2000s.
Paris: Third seed Victoria Azarenka overcame a first-set stumble to reach the French Open third round with a rain-disrupted 6-4 6-3 win over German Annika Beck on Thursday.
What's not clear is whether a natural event caused Mr Griffin to stumble or whether his death was just as a result of the collision.
With over 15 billion stumbles to date, over 10 million users and 600 million personalized recommendations per month, StumbleUpon is the leading way to discover great, peer-sourced content on the Internet.
During the experimental phase of the study, Huang is collecting data from able-bodied individuals and those using prosthetic legs to determine what kind of physiological signals can be detected for use in developing a stumble detection system.
In the reading from Mark, we hear of salt and hunger to be the people whom God intends, without having to cut off our feet and hands, which undoubtedly have caused us and others to stumble.
South River Incident is murder mystery about a psychopathic protagonist who haunts the past and present of a woman unfortunate enough to stumble upon the body of his latest victim.
He plays, Ronnie, the father of two young boys who stumble across cash stolen in a bank robbery.
Or, if you're staring at the display while you walk, you'll stumble like I did, repeatedly, and nearly drown it in water or smash it into the ground under your hand.
skill acquisition--and stumble onto an intricate murder mystery that extends into the physical world through e-mail addresses and phone and fax numbers for the story's protagonists.
None of us wants to cause children and youth to stumble on their way to Jesus.
So, put me down as feeling the odds are about 20 percent that the United States may also stumble in the next decade.
After a steady upward climb, resin prices began to stumble a bit in the last month or so.
Richards and stumble upstairs, bracing myself for the waiting room.
His closest friends, Nate Pope (Forest Whitaker) and Doc (Robert Duvall), are slightly amused at what they think is a tipsy friend's stumble across the parking lot.