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botching,bungling,butchering,fluffing,lumbering,mangling,spoiling

fumbling,maladroit

clumsy, adept, skillful, coordinated

bumbling

IPA

How to pronounce bumbling (audio)

Dictionary definition of bumbling

Exhibiting a lack of coordination, clumsiness, and a tendency to make mistakes or blunders, often in a well-intentioned but somewhat ineffective manner.
"The bumbling attempts to fix the problem only made it worse."

Detailed meaning of bumbling

It is often used to describe someone who is not skilled or competent in a particular task or activity, and who makes mistakes or causes problems as a result. A bumbling person may be easily confused, forgetful, or inattentive and may make errors due to their lack of experience or knowledge.
Bumbling can also describe a situation or an organization that is poorly managed, disorganized or inefficient.
Bumbling implies a lack of skill, experience, or competence, and suggests that the person or the thing described as bumbling is not well-suited for the task or the situation at hand. It can also imply that the person is making mistakes or causing problems due to their lack of ability, rather than malice.
It is important to note that the term bumbling doesn't always imply a negative outcome, and sometimes it can be used in a humorous or lighthearted way to describe someone who is trying their best but still making mistakes.

Example sentences of bumbling

1. The bumbling detective clumsily knocked over a vase, but miraculously uncovered a hidden clue in the process.
2. Despite her bumbling attempts at cooking, she managed to create a dish that surprisingly tasted delicious.
3. The bumbling intern accidentally deleted an important file, yet discovered a system vulnerability that needed urgent fixing.
4. Though he was bumbling in his speech, his sincere message resonated deeply with everyone in the audience.
5. The bumbling waiter spilled water on the table, but his charm and quick recovery won over the customers.
6. During the presentation, her bumbling handling of the slideshow somehow endeared her to her colleagues.

History and etymology of bumbling

The adjective 'bumbling' finds its etymological roots in the Old Swedish word 'bumba,' which meant 'to boom' or 'to make a hollow sound.' This evolved into the Middle English term 'bumblen,' which conveyed the idea of moving or acting in a clumsy, stumbling manner, often with a sense of confusion. Over time, the word 'bumbling' took on the connotation of exhibiting a lack of coordination, clumsiness, and a tendency to make mistakes or blunders, typically in a well-intentioned but somewhat ineffective manner. This etymology reflects the connection between awkward, stumbling movements and actions that are well-meaning but ultimately ineffective, capturing the essence of the adjective 'bumbling' as it is used today.

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Further usage examples of bumbling

1. In an effort to clean the house, the bumbling husband misplaced his wife's favorite earrings, leading to a lengthy treasure hunt.
2. The bumbling scientist made errors in his calculations, but stumbled upon a new theory that would redefine his field.
3. The team's bumbling efforts during the game were frustrating, yet they managed to score the winning goal in the final moments.
4. His bumbling approach to gardening led to a chaotic, but incredibly vibrant and beautiful, array of plants.
5. In a bumbling manner, the young actor forgot his lines but improvised brilliantly, making the scene even more authentic.
6. Despite her bumbling navigation skills, she stumbled upon a scenic route that made the journey unforgettable.
7. His bumbling attempts at fixing the computer resulted in him finding a workaround that actually improved performance.
8. Though she was a bumbling mechanic, she ingeniously used household items to temporarily fix the car.
9. The bumbling magician accidentally revealed his trick, but the audience found it hilariously entertaining.
10. The bumbling tourist got lost multiple times, yet those detours led him to hidden gems around the city.
11. The orchestra’s bumbling first practice session was discouraging, but it also highlighted areas for immediate improvement.
12. During the bake sale, his bumbling mishap with the frosting turned out to be a unique, crowd-pleasing design.
13. His bumbling entry into the art world was filled with missteps, but each mistake was a lesson that fueled his eventual success.
14. In a rather bumbling fashion, she tried to assemble the furniture, and while it wobbled, it oddly enough, added character to the room.
15. The bumbling detective in the comedy movie always managed to solve cases by sheer luck.
16. His bumbling attempt at a speech left the audience both amused and confused.
17. The waiter’s bumbling efforts to balance the plates ended in a loud crash.
18. The bumbling magician kept forgetting his lines, but the children found it hilarious.
19. Despite his bumbling manner, he had a good heart and always tried to help.
20. The character's bumbling antics throughout the play added a touch of humor to the story.
21. She tried to bake a cake for the first time, but her bumbling efforts resulted in a kitchen disaster.
22. The bumbling thief was caught within minutes due to his clumsy attempts at stealth.
23. His bumbling approach to DIY projects usually meant that a professional had to be called in later.
24. The bumbling puppy tripped over its own feet while chasing its tail.
25. During the interview, his bumbling responses made it clear he was not prepared.
26. She found his bumbling attempts at flirting endearing, as they were genuine and unpretentious.

Synonyms

botching
bungling
butchering
fluffing
lumbering
mangling
spoiling

Quiz categories containing bumbling

category

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Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game

Same/different

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Spelling Bee

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