Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
take a tumble
1. To fall suddenly to the ground, typically from stumbling or tripping. I took a bit of a tumble walking home last night, hence the bruises.
2. To suffer a sudden fall or decline, as of profits, health, quality, etc. The price of shares in the tech giant took a tumble on Tuesday after it emerged that they had been manipulating sales figures over the last five years. My father has been doing remarkably well in his battle with cancer, but he has taken a tumble in the last few days.
rough and tumble
Rowdy, disorderly, and boisterous; marked by scuffles or infighting. An allusion to a boxing match in which there are no rules. Sometimes hyphenated when used before a noun. The kids started getting a bit too rough and tumble when their cousin Jake came over. It's healthy for them to have a bit of rough-and-tumble play, so long as they make time for quiet play, as well.
the rough and tumble of (something)
The disorder, aggressive infighting, arguing, or competitiveness of something. An allusion to a boxing match in which there are no rules. I just wanted to make a difference to the people who lived in my community. I wasn't prepared for the rough and tumble of local politics.
1. To collapse or come falling downward. He tripped on the wire running across the hallway and went tumbling down the stairs. The tower came tumbling down after the demolition crews set off the explosive charges.
2. To fall from a high rank or a position of power. That surprise loss sees the former champion tumble down from 1st to 6th place in the tournament leaderboards. The scandal brought the prime minister tumbling down from power. Stock prices have continued tumbling down as the president refuses to rule out a trade war with other nations.
tumble across (something)
1. Literally, to trip on something with one's foot. I wasn't watching where I was going and tumbled across the root of a tree. The child tumbled across the steps of the house.
2. To find, discover, or happen upon something casually or by chance. I tumbled across this fantastic little café the other day. Let me know if you tumble across my keys—I haven't been able to find them.
tumble upon (something)
1. Literally, to trip on something with one's foot. I wasn't watching where I was going and tumbled upon the root of a tree. The child tumbled upon the steps of the house.
2. To find, discover, or happen upon something casually or by chance. I tumbled upon this fantastic little café the other day. Let me know if you tumble upon my keys—I haven't been able to find them.
tumble on (something)
1. Literally, to trip on something with one's foot. I wasn't watching where I was going and tumbled on the root of a tree. The child tumbled on the steps of the house.
2. To find, discover, or happen upon something casually or by chance. I tumbled on this fantastic little café the other day. Let me know if you tumble on my keys—I haven't been able to find them.
tumble to (something)
1. To fall or topple to some lower location or level. I feared the worst when I saw my grandfather tumble to the floor. He kicked the crate and watched it tumble to the basement.
2. obsolescent To arrive at some conclusion or understanding. I have since tumbled to the belief that animals prove far better companions than other people. It was only after the debt collectors began taking away our belongings that I tumbled to the reality of David's financial woes.
disorderly; aggressive. That was a rough-and-tumble football game. George is too rough-and-ready for me. He doesn't know how to act around civilized people.
to roll or bounce along. The ball tumbled along, across the lawn and into the street. As the boulder tumbled along, it crushed everything in its path.
to fall down; to topple. The old barn was so rickety that it almost tumbled down on its own. The pile of books tumbled down all over the floor.
tumble from something
to fall from something. The food tumbled from the tray and fell to the floor. The books tumbled from the shelf during the earthquake.
tumble into bed
to get into or fall into bed. Liz went home and tumbled into bed.
tumble into someone or something
to fall down and roll into someone or something. (Either accidentally or on purpose.) Liz tripped and tumbled into the table. She tumbled into Ken.
tumble out of something
to fall, topple, or drop out of something. Don't let the baby tumble out of the chair! Thechildren tumbled out of the car and ran for the school building.
to fall over. The vase tumbled over and broke. I held Timmy up to keep him from tumbling over.
tumble over someone or something
to trip or stumble over someone or something and fall down. I tumbled over Fred, who was napping under the tree. I tumbled over a chair and fell down.
tumble over (something)
to fall over the edge of something. Stay away from the edge. I don't want any of you tumbling over it. Don't go too close. You'll tumble over.
tumble someone or something down something
to tip or push someone or something down something. Timmy tumbled his brother down the hill. Ann tumbled her laundry down the chute.
rough and tumble
Disorderly scuffling or infighting, as in She had some reservations about entering the rough and tumble of local politics. This expression originated in the late 1700s in boxing, where it referred to a fight without rules. [Mid-1800s]
rough and tumble
COMMON You use rough and tumble to mean a situation in which there is a lot of arguing or competition and people do not worry about upsetting or harming others. Whoever expected leaders in the rough and tumble of electoral politics to be nice or fair? Note: You can use rough-and-tumble before a noun. He started his political career in the rough-and-tumble world of student politics. Note: You usually use this expression when you think that this is normal or acceptable behaviour. Note: Originally, a rough and tumble was a boxing match in which there were no rules or restrictions.
rough and tumblea situation without rules or organization; a free-for-all.
The expression originated in 19th-century boxing slang.
rough and ˈtumble
1 a situation in which people compete with each other and are aggressive in order to get what they want: In the rough and tumble of politics you can’t trust anyone.
2 a noisy but not serious fight: The toddlers often join in the rough and tumble of the older children’s games.
1. To topple, as from power or a high position; fall: That horse started out the race in the lead, but tumbled down to fifth place.
2. To collapse: The wall tumbled down when I leaned on it.
tumble onor tumble upon
To come upon something accidentally; happen on something: We tumbled on a nice restaurant while walking downtown.
To come to some sudden understanding; catch on to something: I tumbled to the reality that the other card players were cheating.
rough and tumble
mod. disorderly; aggressive. George is too rough and tumble for me. He doesn’t know how to act around civilized people.
rough and tumble
Violent and disorderly action; a fight without rules. This early nineteenth-century Americanism may have originated in boxing—at least it was so defined by John Bartlett in 1859, although his work antedated the Queensberry rules of the ring by some years, and most boxing was of the rough-and-tumble variety. Nevertheless, the term was generally applied only to physical fights of various kinds until the second half of the century, when it began to be used more figuratively. Oliver Wendell Holmes (The Poet at the Breakfast-Table, 1872) wrote “That circle of rough-and-tumble political life.”