Meaning of tumble

tum•ble

Pronunciation: (tum'bul), [key]
— v., n. -bled, -bling,
—v.i.
  1. to fall helplessly down, end over end, as by losing one's footing, support, or equilibrium; plunge headlong: to tumble down the stairs.
  2. to roll end over end, as in falling: The stones tumbled down the hill.
  3. to fall or decline rapidly; drop: Prices on the stock market tumbled today.
  4. to perform gymnastic feats of skill and agility, as leaps or somersaults.
  5. to fall suddenly from a position of power or authority; suffer overthrow: As one dictator tumbles, another is rising to take his place.
  6. to fall in ruins, as from age or decay; collapse; topple: The walls of the old mansion tumbled down upon the intruders.
  7. to roll about by turning one way and another; pitch about; toss.
  8. to stumble or fall (usually fol. by over): to tumble over a sled.
  9. to go, come, get, etc., in a hasty and confused way: The people tumbled out of the theater. He tumbled hurriedly into his clothes.
  10. to understand or become aware of some fact or circumstance (often fol. by to): He finally tumbled to what they were doing.
  11. (of a missile) to rotate without control end over end.
—v.t.
  1. to cause to fall or roll end over end; throw over or down.
  2. to throw or toss about; cause disarray, as in handling or searching.
  3. to put in a disordered or rumpled condition.
  4. to throw, cast, put, send, etc., in a precipitate, hasty, or rough manner.
  5. to cause to fall from a position of authority or power; overthrow; topple: They tumbled him from his throne.
  6. to cause to fall or collapse in ruins: The wreckers tumbled the walls of the building.
  7. to subject to the action of a tumbling box.
—n.
  1. an act of tumbling or falling.
  2. a gymnastic or acrobatic feat.
  3. an accidental fall; spill.
  4. a drop in value, as of stocks.
  5. a fall from a position of power or authority: The great director took a tumble when he was replaced by a newcomer.
  6. a response indicating interest, affection, etc.: She wouldn't give me a tumble.
  7. tumbled condition; disorder or confusion.
  8. a confused heap: a tumble of papers, ashes, pens, and keys on the desk.
  9. a haycock.
  10. to come to understand.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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