Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.

bum·ble 1

v. bum·bled, bum·bling, bum·bles
1. To speak in a faltering manner.
2. To move, act, or proceed clumsily. See Synonyms at blunder.
3. To make a buzzing sound.
1. To say (something) in a faltering manner.
2. To bungle; botch: bumble one's lines in a play.

[Perhaps blend of bungle and stumble.]

bum′bler n.

bum·ble 2

intr.v. bum·bled, bum·bling, bum·bles
To make a humming or droning sound; buzz.
A humming or droning sound; a buzz.

[Middle English bomblen, of imitative origin.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.bumbler - someone who makes mistakes because of incompetencebumbler - someone who makes mistakes because of incompetence
incompetent, incompetent person - someone who is not competent to take effective action


nStümper(in) m(f) (pej), → Pfuscher(in) m(f) (pej)
References in periodicals archive ?
Before the decade was over I had my own students and was teaching them to view Eisenhower in the same fashion that most of my colleagues and all of the journalists I respected viewed him--as a good-natured bumbler, who lacked the leadership qualities to be an effective president.
Rather than projecting himself as racing's prime statesman, the BHA chairman came across as a bumbler who had enjoyed an afternoon's hospitality at the races.
If the idea was to depict the bumbler with a heart of gold in Action Replayy, Akshay ended up at the wrong end of the joke.
He dances as though he had a bumbler doon his keks: Give that man 100% for effort.
In desperation, the brown-haired bumbler confides in him about his marriage doubts, hoping the revelations will take his mind off making him exercise.
As Nacho, a half-Mexican, half-Scandinavian monastery cook, Black plays a classic comic role -- a bumbler on the outside with delusions of being a superhero on the inside.
Columbo, a disheveled, cigar-chomping sleuth uses his appearance as an incompetent bumbler to lull murder suspects into a false sense of security.
We in this country tended to undervalue Ronald Reagan, too often dismissing him as a cowboy, a warmonger and a bumbler.
Grint is less the hapless bumbler, his inadequacies (and confusion about Hermione's apparent tentative romantic overtures) more real, while Radcliffe has deepened Harry's emotional core to far more persuasive levels.
The inscrutable, laconic genius that steered his team to the zenith of a 5-1 victory in Germany in the autumn of 2001 is now, after an unconvincing World Cup finals and a stumbling start to England's Euro 2004 campaign, beginning to look a bit of a bumbler.
But saddled with a thoroughly pedestrian script by first-time director Marc Lawrence, Grant and Bullock have finally to resort to their familiar but tired routines - he the elegantly amiable bumbler, she the clumsy girl-next-door type.
Thus, Nixon is incorrigibly shifty and sinister, Ford is an amiable bumbler, Carter is nice but Out of his depth, Reagan is just dumb, Bush Senior is a cold WASP, Clinton is a sex maniac, Quayle is stupid, Gingrich is callous, Gore is a bore, and Hillary is a modern Lucrezia de Borgia.