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Related to stumble on: stumble through
stumble on (someone or something)
1. Literally, to trip on someone or something with one's foot. I wasn't watching where I was going and stumbled on the root of a tree. I entered the living room and nearly stumbled on someone who was asleep on the floor.
2. To find, discover, or happen upon something casually or by chance. I stumbled on this fantastic little café the other day. The police officer stumbled on a couple of thieves trying to break into the building. While researching ways of boosting the immune system, the team ended up stumbling on a remarkable new method of treating cancer.
3. To meet or encounter someone by chance. I stumbled on Jack and Janet at the mall yesterday. They said to say hello! If those park rangers hadn't stumbled on us in time, we would have been eaten by that bear!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
stumble onor 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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.