stumble on

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Related to stumble on: stumble through

stumble on (something)

1. Literally, to trip on something with one's foot. I wasn't watching where I was going and stumbled on the root of a tree. The child stumbled on the steps of the house.
2. To find, discover, or happen upon something casually or by chance. I stumbled on this fantastic little café the other day. Let me know if you stumble on my keys—I haven't been able to find them. While researching ways of boosting the immune system, the team ended up stumbling on a remarkable new method of treating cancer.
See also: on, 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 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