—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. Informal.to understand or become aware of some fact or circumstance (often fol. by to): He finally tumbled to what they were doing. 11. Rocketry.(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. Chiefly New Eng.a haycock.
10. take a tumble to,Australian Slang.to come to understand.