Free Translator Free Translator
Translators Dictionaries Courses Other
Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Fumble   /fˈəmbəl/   Listen
Fumble

noun
1.
(sports) dropping the ball.  Synonym: muff.



Related search:



WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Fumble" Quotes from Famous Books



... mighty anxious as the game goes along, believe me," asserted Steve, as they arose to leave the vicinity of the bench. "I'll be skimpy with my throws to third to catch a runner napping, for fear Fred might make out to fumble and get the ball home just too late to nab the runner. And, Jack, try your level best to convince Fred that the eyes of all Chester will be on him during that game, with his best girl, pretty Molly Skinner, occupying a front seat in the ...
— Jack Winters' Baseball Team - Or, The Rivals of the Diamond • Mark Overton

... looked positively embarrassed. He would glance at Bart, start to speak, lower his eyes, and, turning pale as he seemed to remember, and turning red as he seemed to realize, would fumble at his watch fob, run his fingers through his ...
— Bart Stirling's Road to Success - Or; The Young Express Agent • Allen Chapman

... woman with a basket of vegetables we saw at the market the other day," said Polly, as he opened the portfolio. "Do tell me, Jasper, you did bring that, didn't you?" beginning to fumble through the pile. ...
— Five Little Peppers Abroad • Margaret Sidney

... And at the rainbow's end, and in the incense That curls about the feet of sleeping gods, And sing with her in canebrakes and in rice fields, In Romany, eternal Romany. We will sow secret herbs, and plant old roses, And fumble through dark, snaky palaces, Stable our ponies in the Taj Mahal, And sleep out-doors ourselves. In her strange fairy mill-wheel eyes will wait All windings and unwindings of the highways, From India, across America,— All windings and unwindings of my fancy, All windings and unwindings of ...
— American Poetry, 1922 - A Miscellany • Edna St. Vincent Millay

... drew forth a heavy, glittering bunch of keys, one of the chief insignia of his dominion, and began to fumble ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... instinct, like that of the bicycle racer. His eyes are strained, his nerves and muscles at tension—everything ready for excitement—and the book, lying open, leaves his hands perfectly free to drum on the sides of the chair, slap his legs and knees, fumble in his pockets or even scratch his head as emotion or interest demand. Does anybody deny that the highest proof of special genius is the possession of the instinct to adapt itself to the matter in hand? Nothing more ...
— The Delicious Vice • Young E. Allison

... twelve now; a pale, plain child, with sharp, intelligent eyes, and a busy little mind, that did a good deal more thinking than anybody imagined. She was just at the unattractive, fidgety age when no one knew what to do with her, and so let her fumble her way up as she could, finding pleasure in odd things, and living much alone, for she did not go to school, because her shoulders were growing round, and Mrs. Shaw would not "allow her figure to be spoiled." That suited Maud excellently; ...
— An Old-fashioned Girl • Louisa May Alcott

... fumble through his pockets. When he had found his cigarette-case, he proffered it to Tabs, who ...
— The Kingdom Round the Corner - A Novel • Coningsby Dawson

... she said. "Come with me. Show me my way—I will pay—I will pay anything in reason." Actually I saw her fumble at her purse, and the hot blood flew ...
— 54-40 or Fight • Emerson Hough

... gentleman received it with a pleasant smile, and, extricating himself from his chair in a remarkable fashion considering his age, began to fumble in his pockets. He went through them twice, and his countenance, now lighted by hope and now darkened by despair, conveyed to Captain Trimblett as accurately as speech could have done the feelings of a man to whom all reading matter, without his ...
— Salthaven • W. W. Jacobs

... fact that she was now her only one. Aunt Emily's clear vision might, indeed, be said to have found the way through a tangle of poignant conditions in which her own poor heart had been able to do nothing but fumble helplessly. ...
— The Letter of the Contract • Basil King

... great a consciousness of his own greatness were expressing his approval of the conduct of a little boy. Disraeli stopped dead short in his speech and one of the finest bits of comedy I can remember to have seen ensued. He closed his eyes and began very deliberately to fumble about the breast of his frock-coat within and without in search of something which he was evidently not over anxious to find. Alighting at last on the object of this perfunctory search he produced an eyeglass and, still with closed eyes, he lifted the skirt of his coat and ...
— Recollections • David Christie Murray

... to the girl, keeping his eyes on the Easterners, and his weapon steady. He had hung the wire coil over his shoulder, leaving his left hand free to fumble for and untie the cords around Naomi's wrists. He ...
— When the Sleepers Woke • Arthur Leo Zagat

... for one's friends! The tears stood in Diego's black eyes when he heard; and Diego was no weakling, but a straight-backed stoic of an Indian, who stood almost as tall as the Senor Jack himself and who could throw a full-grown steer to the ground by twisting its head. He bowed low and turned to fumble the sweet, dried grasses in Surry's manger; and beneath his coarse shirt the feel of the rawhide was sweeter than the embrace of ...
— The Gringos • B. M. Bower

... do I! To fumble at the fastening till your poor beast can bear it no longer and swerves aside, and I sit waiting a good half hour before you bring down your pride enough ...
— A Reputed Changeling • Charlotte M. Yonge

... one chair in his office, and he sits in it. Another never allows a visitor to enter his office, but goes to the outer reception room and stands while he talks. One man stands up as a signal that the interview is at an end. Another begins to fumble with the papers on his desk, and the salesman does not live who is not familiar with the man who must hurry out to lunch or who has only five minutes to catch a train. One man has his secretary or his office boy interrupt him after a visitor has been in as ...
— The Book of Business Etiquette • Nella Henney

... fumble, went his nose against the iron bolt of the bin; but Tim was an expert burglar, and not easily discouraged. After many failures, his struggles were crowned by success, and Tim pressed up the lid with ...
— Chatterbox, 1906 • Various

... beautiful time, and thinking how lucky I was to have got board in such a place with such nice folks, when I heard a queer little sound at my door. It was such a little hesitating sort of sound that it sounded more like a fumble than a knock, as if some one very timid, with very little hands, was feeling along the door, not quite daring to knock. For a minute I thought it was a mouse. But I waited and it came again, and then I made up my mind ...
— The Wind in the Rose-bush and Other Stories of the Supernatural • Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman

... apparently gratuitous piece of dirtiness is in reality absolutely necessary. Men with hands in this state have hardly any feeling in them; they find it difficult to pick up anything small, as a pin—the fingers fumble over it; and as for a pen, they hold it like a hammer. His chest was open to the north wind, which whistled through the bare branches of the tall elm overhead as if they were the cordage of a ship, and came in sudden blasts through ...
— The Toilers of the Field • Richard Jefferies

... old curio in the form of a Phoenix, I dare say the Board—' said the nice gentleman, as Robert began to fumble with his buttons. ...
— The Phoenix and the Carpet • E. Nesbit

... being glorious to-night, and I made sure to sleep by his side—now he'll be quite sober—and I'll be food for fishes; it's a cold bed that I shall turn into before morning, that's certain. Hand me the cakes, boy, if you can fumble them out; the more we fill ourselves, the less room for salt water. Well, then, wind and waves are great bullies; they fly slap back in a fright when they bang against a great ship; but when they get hold of a little ...
— Percival Keene • Frederick Marryat

... I said things that I shouldn't have dared to say if I'd been cooler; but I'm glad I did! After a while I went back to my room, and I took out my key and hid it. I was afraid she'd lock me in. She did mean to, but for once she got fooled. I lay still as a mouse, hearing her fumble round my door. Finally she went downstairs. When I was sure she'd gone for good I took my key and stole across the hall. Sure enough, it unlocked the door, just as I hoped it would. Oh, that poor child was so glad to see me! Miss Sniffen had come up prepared to give ...
— Polly and the Princess • Emma C. Dowd

... about him it seemed to me that this person was quite white, and was a kind of madness that would settle down quite blankly upon a place, a kind of mist in which reason could not live; and it was the fear of this that made them fumble nervously at the lock of that rotten door; but with the Sphinx it was not so much fear as ...
— The Book of Wonder • Edward J. M. D. Plunkett, Lord Dunsany

... for me, or for Holdsworth (he was not particular to whom he gave up the letters, so that he got rid of them somehow, and could set off homewards), he would say he thought that he had, for such was his invariable safe form of answer; and would fumble in breast-pockets, waistcoat-pockets, breeches-pockets, and, as a last resource, in coat-tail pockets; and at length try to comfort me, if I looked disappointed, by telling me, 'Hoo had missed this toime, but was sure to write to-morrow;' ...
— Cousin Phillis • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... noble authors as remainder auctions. A good book is beyond price; and it is far easier to under than over sell it. The words of the modern minor poet are as rubies, and what if his sets bring a hundred guineas?—it is more as it should be, than that any sacrilegious hand should fumble them for threepence. It recalls that golden age of which ...
— Prose Fancies • Richard Le Gallienne

... upon his cheek. Even as I gazed his eyes met mine full and square. For a moment he lay without motion, then (his face a-twitch with the effort) he came slowly to his elbow, gazed about him and so back to me again. Then I saw his hand creep down to the dagger at his hip, to fumble weakly there—howbeit, at the third essay he drew the blade and began to creep towards me. Very slowly and painfully he dragged himself along, and once I heard him groan, but he stayed not till he was come within striking distance, ...
— Black Bartlemy's Treasure • Jeffrey Farnol

... from a pair of violet eyes and a pair of the most mysterious gray, I began to fumble in my ...
— American Adventures - A Second Trip 'Abroad at home' • Julian Street

... is taken for another, one place for another, days and weeks for months and years; and finally he avails himself of all his advantage over his adversaries by his superior knowledge of the Hebrew, speaking in the very language of the divine communication, while they can only fumble on with conflicting and disputed translations. Such is this war of giants. And how can such pigmies as you and I decide between them? For myself, I confess, that my head is not formed tantas componere lites. And as you began yours of March the 2nd, ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... he's in Arthur's bosom,[18] if ever man went to Arthur's bosom. 'A made a finer end,[19] and went away, an it had been any christom child;[20] 'a parted even just between twelve and one, e'en at turning o' the tide:[21] for after I saw him fumble with the sheets,[22] and play with flowers, and smile upon his fingers' ends, I knew there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a' babbled of green fields. How now, Sir John! quoth I: what, man! be of good cheer. ...
— King Henry the Fifth - Arranged for Representation at the Princess's Theatre • William Shakespeare

... me," replied Mercy. "I found that it saved time not to have to fumble all through a portemonnaie for a ten-cent piece. It looks neater, too, than to have it all in a crumpled mass," she added, smiling and looking up in the old man's face. "I don't like disorder. Such a place as your store-room ...
— Mercy Philbrick's Choice • Helen Hunt Jackson

... writers term it. The strong Ballard eleven found itself, and with a series of body-smashing, bone-crushing rushes, battering at the Bannister lines like the Germans before Verdun, they steadily fought their way, trench by trench, line by line, down the field. Without a fumble, or the loss of a single yard, the terrific, catapulting charges forced back old Bannister, until the enemy's fullback, who ran like the famous Johnny Maulbetsch, of Michigan, shot headlong over the goal line! The attempt for goal from touchdown failed, leaving ...
— T. Haviland Hicks Senior • J. Raymond Elderdice

... glanced at the paragraph so eagerly that Philippa looked at him in surprise. She was still more surprised to see a deep flush spread over his face, as he tore the newspaper off the shoes and glanced at the date. Then he dropped it on the bed and began to fumble for something in the bottom of his trunk, saying, carelessly, "Oh, green goods men are just fellows who rope people in to buy counterfeit money. Here, Mack, you'll not have a chance to run many more errands for me. Trot down to Aunt Eunice with these neckties, ...
— Flip's "Islands of Providence" • Annie Fellows Johnston

... however, Joeboy laid his sandwich upon the shield beside him, and then began to fumble behind him in the band of his cut-down trousers, out of a leopard-skin pocket attached to which he drew a packet of common leather tied up with a slip ...
— Charge! - A Story of Briton and Boer • George Manville Fenn

... anything to attend to, and I know exactly what he said to his mother. He will make every arrangement and fix everything for them and then tell them good-by. He isn't much with words, Billy isn't. He acts. There's no fumble in him, and even his mother, who thinks his mold was broken when he was born and that the Lord never made but one like him, has to admit he is a high-handed person when occasion requires. I don't agree with his mother in a good ...
— Kitty Canary • Kate Langley Bosher

... but let her in there under ninety pounds and Fieldmouse is a cinch. That little sleight-of-hand stunt between Murphy and your nigger is working fine. They not only put it over on the judges, but none of the other owners are wise. I'd try it myself some day if I wasn't afraid somebody would fumble and ...
— Old Man Curry - Race Track Stories • Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

... said, "Miss Rothvelt was here and saw me this afternoon, herself." Up to the point of my arrival at the bridge I had merely to fumble my cap and answer his crisp questions. But there he lighted a fresh cigar and said ...
— The Cavalier • George Washington Cable

... reached in cricket matches. Baldwin and Crane were both on their mettle and the fielding being of the sharpest kind safe hits were few and far between. Up to the ninth inning Chicago led by two runs, but here Earle's three-bagger, Hanlon's base on balls, Burns' fumble of Brown's hit and Carroll's double settled our chances, the All-Americas winning by a score of ...
— A Ball Player's Career - Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson • Adrian C. Anson

... I stepped; but in the dark I must have walked a few feet wide of the straight line, for I remember brushing against a low-growing branch of one of the apple-trees, and this must have caught in my eyeglass-ribbon and torn it, for when I came to fumble for them a few seconds later to help my sight, the glasses ...
— Poison Island • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)

... know that Ted has him by the throat and is waiting for the end. But he seems very weak himself. As I shout down the hole to encourage him, the coon, with one final effort, wrests himself free from the dog and comes scuttling out of the hole. With undignified haste I back away from the outlet and fumble a blunt arrow on the string, and I am just in time, for here comes one of the maddest and one of the sickest coons I ever saw. With a hasty shot back of the ear, I bowl him over and put him out of his misery. ...
— Hunting with the Bow and Arrow • Saxton Pope

... conceive. It seems stupid Beyond all expression to have a "possession" whose "ownness" there's desperate doubt of, And which (if she's nous) you can't keep in your house, nor yet (if she's "savvy") keep out of! What is "Hymen's halter"? I fidget and falter! The Beaks seem to palter and fumble. In such a strange fashion, I fly in a passion, and vow that the world is a jumble. Law seems a wigged noodle, as tame as a poodle, the whole darned caboodle (as 'ARRY sees) Is ructions and "rot," and our "rulers" a lot of confounded old foodles and Pharisees! Yes, that's ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100, May 23, 1891 • Various

... contrivance for occupying the attention of the country, and is certainly a better way of settling questions than by push of pike. Yet, if one should ask it why it should not rather be called government by gabble, it would have to fumble in its pocket a good while before it found the change for a convincing reply. As matters stand, too, it is beginning to be doubtful whether Parliament and Congress sit at Westminster and Washington or in the editors' rooms of the leading journals, so thoroughly is everything ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... easily pleased, and giving a last pat to Rachel's doll. So she ran over to join the others, and, getting down on her knees, she began to fumble within the little cupboard. Dick had already opened the door, which was accomplished by taking away ...
— Five Little Peppers and their Friends • Margaret Sidney

... porch, slipped into the bar, and thence into the hall. Dan motioned to Tom to conceal himself in a closet beneath the stairway, and he himself slipped behind the clock. Hardly were they safely hidden thus, than they heard a fumble at the latch of the door into the bar. Then the door was pushed open, and the Marquis stepped cautiously in the hall. He paused for a moment, listening intently. Then he held open the door a little wider; and another figure, quite enveloped by a long black coat, entered after ...
— The Inn at the Red Oak • Latta Griswold

... took a little piece of wood out of his pocket, also a steel nail, and with the latter tapped several times upon the bit of veneering. Immediately they saw the sitting boy begin to fumble, as though he might be getting something out of his pocket. Then came an answering series of ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts on a Tour - The Mystery of Rattlesnake Mountain • George A. Warren

... the baby blue pajamas was cursing in a high-pitched, nasal, querulous voice. Cleggett noticed with astonishment that a single-barreled eyeglass was screwed into one of his eyes. Occasionally it dropped to the ground, and he would stop and fumble for it and wipe it on his wet sleeve and replace it. Had it not been for these stops he would have ...
— The Cruise of the Jasper B. • Don Marquis

... moment Carton seemed to fumble among his papers, without even looking at the prospective juror. Then he drew out the print which Kennedy had made. Quietly, without letting anyone else see it, he deliberately walked to Kahn's table and showed it to the lawyer, without a word, in fact without ...
— The Ear in the Wall • Arthur B. Reeve

... hear Madame Poulard talk of the priests stopping the pilgrimages! The priests? Why, that's all they have left them to live upon now. These peasants' are the only pockets in which they can fumble nowadays." ...
— In and Out of Three Normady Inns • Anna Bowman Dodd

... quite as well the coming spring, when the roads would be open and the days warm. Confident of his perfect security on the peninsula, and possessed by a sneaking, but denied, abhorrence for rush and discomfort, he rejoiced at delay. So, having left his snug bed to fumble about in the dark for his clothes, and, these donned, having loosed his speech before the grateful blaze in the fireplace, he did not argue fatigue or freezing as an excuse for procrastination; he passed over ...
— The Plow-Woman • Eleanor Gates

... the present occasion he was doubly, terribly confused. Of no matter what book he asked the price, it was sure to be one, two, or three roubles. The larger books he could not afford at all; he could only look at them wistfully, fumble their leaves with his finger, turn over the volumes in his hands, and then replace them. "No, no, that is too dear," he would mutter under his breath. "I must go and try somewhere else." Then again he would fall to examining copy-books, collections ...
— Poor Folk • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... By-and-by I think I said—something had to be said to break the situation—I think I said, 'It's you, Edmund?' I remember he fumbled with a sheet of music, and kept his eyes bent on it, and muttered something inarticulate. Then there was another speechless, helpless suspension. He continued to fumble his music without looking up. At last I remember saying, through a sort of sickness and giddiness, 'Let us get out ...
— Grey Roses • Henry Harland

... Arline. So "Arl in to begin!" and see and hear BALFE'S pretty little Girl of Bohemia while she is still visible and audible at Drury Lane. Mr. EADIE a trifle gawky as Thaddeus, but then he finds himself in an awkward situation, especially when he has to fumble for the documentary evidence of his birth, attested at a Bohemian Registry Office. CARL ARMBRUSTER conducted this, and then up got Herr FELD "with his little lot," represented by the unrivalled and unequalled ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, April 15, 1893 • Various

... against the light, a man's figure, his father's. No doubt the old man was watching and listening. Perhaps the sound of the wheels reached him through the evening air, for in a few minutes he came out and walked down the drive. Hyacinth saw him fumble with the fastening of the rickety gate, and at last open it slowly and with difficulty. The car reached a gap in the loose stone wall, a familiar gap, for across it lay a short cut up a steeper part of the hill, which the road went round. Hyacinth jumped down and ran up the path. In ...
— Hyacinth - 1906 • George A. Birmingham

... girl fumble with the door on her side, open it, and stagger out of his sight. Then she reappeared round the car. Bareheaded, disheveled, white as chalk, with burning eyes and bleeding lips, she gazed at Kurt as if to ...
— The Desert of Wheat • Zane Grey

... lecture theatre, put his hat on the end of the table as his habit was, and carefully selected a large piece of chalk. It was a joke among his students that he could not lecture without that piece of chalk to fumble in his fingers, and once he had been stricken to impotence by their hiding his supply. He came and looked under his grey eyebrows at the rising tiers of young fresh faces, and spoke with his accustomed studied commonness of phrasing. "Circumstances have arisen—circumstances beyond my ...
— Tales of Space and Time • Herbert George Wells

... chance to be costly and complicated ones, with all the shifts and changes of our journey printed thick upon their faces. The conductor appears at the other end of the car. Jonathan begins vaguely to fumble without lowering his paper. Pocket after pocket is browsed through in this way. Then the paper slides to his knee and he begins a more thorough investigation, with all the characteristic clapping and ...
— More Jonathan Papers • Elisabeth Woodbridge

... Inneraora. A most curious, dour, and moody man, with a mind roving from key to key. Every now and then he would stop and think a little without a word, then on, and run his fingers through his hair or fumble nervously at his leathern buttons, paying small heed to the Splendid and I, who convoyed him, so we got into a crack about the foreign field ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro

... Then she would fumble with her foot for a stone and stoop hastily—for you are at a disadvantage with ghosts and with Toms when you stoop—and pick it up and hurl it promiscuously in the direction of the footsteps, and quaver, in a voice ...
— A Maid of the Silver Sea • John Oxenham

... than our more civilised peasants. But the speech comes from deeper than they are aware, it stumbles into a revelation of the soul. A drunken man in Tolstoi has more wisdom in his cups than all Ibsen's strange ladies who fumble ...
— Plays, Acting and Music - A Book Of Theory • Arthur Symons

... that he wanted a particular coat which had been put away in her clothes-closet—and she was on her knees between him and it, with the time of her Amen quite indefinite. I was sent, said my errand briefly, and was permitted to fumble out her keys from her pocket while she continued to ...
— An Englishwoman's Love-Letters • Anonymous

... the disused farm-kitchen, holding the little wooden box carefully in both his dogskin-gloved hands. He crossed to the hearth, stubbing his toe against a jutting floor-brick, and as he did so he caught his breath. Then he stepped down under the yawning gape of the chimney, and seemed to grope and fumble at the back of the hearth. He raised himself then, stepped back, and called out sharply in ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... an exclamation uttered as though the words had affrighted her. Whereafter, with quivering lips, she began hesitantly and uncertainly to fumble in her bodice. ...
— Through Russia • Maxim Gorky

... up the letter which lay on the table in front of him and unfolded it. He glanced at it and then put it down and began to fumble in ...
— General John Regan - 1913 • George A. Birmingham

... counter-revolution have the bourgeois state generally on their side and enjoy the backing of the bourgeois establishment, its organizations and its facilities. Since their object is defense, they have no constructive program. Instead they stumble, fumble and bungle as their system flounders into one disastrous ...
— Civilization and Beyond - Learning From History • Scott Nearing

... path across the floor wavered suddenly, the door opened, was locked again, and with a quick, catlike step a man moved along the side of the wall where the shadows lay thickest near the door, dropped on his knees, and began to fumble hurriedly with the base-board of the wall, pausing at every alternate ...
— The Further Adventures of Jimmie Dale • Frank L. Packard

... He felt in his own pockets, however, first for a cigarette and then for a match. He was indeed tired, so tired that he no longer remembered which pocket to fumble in or what he held in his hand as he fumbled. Ah, that sacred tank! Then he suddenly smiled again, looking at Magin. "There is something else I ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... afterwards polish it so as to be presentable. But men of sense know better than so to waste their time; and those who sincerely love poetry, know the touch of the master's hand on the chords too well to fumble among them after him. Nay, more than this; all inferior poetry is an injury to the good, inasmuch as it takes away the freshness of rhymes, blunders upon and gives a wretched commonalty to good thoughts; and, in general, adds to the weight of human weariness in a ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... room to grumble! Hadst thou taen' aff some drowsy bummle Wha can do nought but fyke and fumble, 'Twad been nae plea, But he was gleg as onie wumble, That's owre ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... and Child, and another offered comfits in a box; a third presented the wassail-cup, into which Raby immediately poured some silver, and Coventry followed his example. Grace fumbled for her purse, and, when she had found it, began to fumble in it ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... sopped water on his head and over his heaving chest, and after a few drinks the big frame relaxed and the man lay sleeping like a child. But in his dreams he was still lost and running across the desert, he started and twitched his arms; and then he began to mutter and fumble in the sand until at last he sat up with ...
— Wunpost • Dane Coolidge

... and their governess, as if she had never appeared unattended in her life, and prayed, good Lord, with such a majestic seriousness, and listened to the sermon with such a face as made the parson forget his text and fumble about for his notes in dire confusion. 'Twas thought she might be going to play some trick to cause him to break down in the midst of his discourse. But she did not, and sailed out of church as if she had never missed a ...
— His Grace of Osmonde • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... would persevere in the disuse of tobacco until the enchanter's spell seemed broken, when some disturbing thing would upset him, and he would turn his pockets inside out, and fumble with his thumb and finger in their extreme corners for the least particle of the "luxury." "John, I must have some tobacco," he would say, and in a day or two would be again under the full influence of the weed. I pitied ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... had posted my letter to Jukie, and sat alone in my room, smoking and thinking, at last with leisure to open my mind to all the impressions and implications of the day (I haven't time for this in the laboratory), I began to fumble for and find a new clue to Arthur's recent oddness. For twenty-four hours I had believed that he had perhaps killed Oliver Hobart. Now, suddenly I didn't. But I was clear that there was something about Oliver ...
— Potterism - A Tragi-Farcical Tract • Rose Macaulay

... way sometimes," said Bert philosophically. "It's just the same in other games. I've seen the Giants and Athletics play like a lot of schoolboys. One fellow will muff an easy fly and then the whole infield will go to pieces. They'll fumble and ...
— Bert Wilson on the Gridiron • J. W. Duffield

... her companions. Arithmetic and slates! Does anyone remember—can anyone forget—how horribly distasteful a slate can be when the icy fingers of youth have to clasp that cold educational formation (Silurian, I believe), and to fumble with the greasy slate-pencil? With her Colenso in her lap, Margaret Shields grappled for some time with the mysteries of Tare and Tret. "Tare an' 'ouns, I call it," whispered Janey Harman, who had taken, in the holidays, a "course" of Lever's ...
— The Mark Of Cain • Andrew Lang

... reminded him that he had better be getting to his seat, and he found that the steward to whom he had given his ticket, a sallow young woman with projecting teeth, was holding it close to her eyes with one hand and using the other to fumble in a leather bag for some glasses which manifestly were not there. He felt sorry for her because she was not beautiful like Ellen Melville. Did she grieve at it, he wondered; or had she, like most plain women, some scrap of comeliness, ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... a sulphur match . . . Ha! at last my garret. Fumble at the latch, Close the door and bar it. Bed, you graciously Wait, despite my scorning . . . So, bibaciously Mad old ...
— Ballads of a Bohemian • Robert W. Service

... we heard the tramp of men coming to the door, and heard them begin to fumble with the pad-lock, and ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... unpleasantly startled, coming face to face with him one day, he walking down his garden path, which she was passing, to find that he did not even purpose to speak to her. Pretending to fumble at the lock of the gate, he hung back until she was ...
— A Sheaf of Corn • Mary E. Mann

... Professor Brainey, or whatever name I might choose, and wait for my first customer. My first customer is a middle-aged man. I look at him,—ask him a question or two, so as to hear him talk. When I have got the hang of him, I ask him to sit down, and proceed to fumble ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... like a dizzy man swayed from her with a hoarse cry and leaned shaking against a table where he kept his rider's accoutrements. He began to fumble in his saddlebags. His action brought a clinking, metallic sound—the rattling of gun-cartridges. His fingers trembled as he slipped cartridges into an extra belt. But as he buckled it over the one he habitually wore his hands became steady. This second belt contained ...
— Riders of the Purple Sage • Zane Grey

... when the robbers reached their cave. The bundles were laid in a great circle on the floor, and, at a given signal, they were opened. For a moment each robber gazed blankly at the contents of his bundle, and then they all began to fumble and search among the piles of articles upon the cloths; but after a few minutes, they arose, looking blanker and ...
— The Bee-Man of Orn and Other Fanciful Tales • Frank R. Stockton

... drawing-room for anything, and they were discovered, each knew that his life was not worth a minute's purchase. Very steadily Sartoris steered his chair to the side of the big case on the floor, and his hands began to fumble with ...
— The Slave of Silence • Fred M. White

... independent Senator Dan Fowler fights a one-man battle against the clique that seeks perpetual power and perpetual youth, in this hard-hitting novel by Alan E. Nourse. Why did it have to be his personal fight? The others fumble it—they'd foul it up, Fowler protested? But why was he in the fight and what was to happen to Senator Fowler's fight against this ...
— Martyr • Alan Edward Nourse

... through the homely scenes of the outskirts, that black fringe which makes an unlovely border to the city, Choulette took from his pocket an old book which he began to fumble. The writer, hidden under the vagabond, revealed himself. Choulette, without wishing to appear to be careful of his papers, was very orderly about them. He assured himself that he had not lost the pieces of paper ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... prosecution, testified that he had followed the prisoner into the yards from among the freight cars, watched him approach the engine Blackwings and talk with the engineer. He could not make out all that passed, but knew that the men had quarrelled. He had seen the prisoner stoop down and fumble about the air-pump on the engineer's side of the engine. He then rose and as he moved off made some threat against the life of the engineer and about "ditching" ...
— Snow on the Headlight - A Story of the Great Burlington Strike • Cy Warman

... bills lay snugly inserted between the leaves of the Bible. The tramp who lay on the floor, as yet too surprised to attempt to rise, rolled over and seized the book as a football player seizes the pigskin after a fumble, covering it with his body, his arms, and sticking out his elbows as a further protection ...
— The Mucker • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... you, little girl," he muttered, and withdrew his head and shoulders to fumble fiercely for his pipe. Courage in the woman he loves will move a man as never will her tears. There is also gratitude ...
— The Long Trick • Lewis Anselm da Costa Ritchie

... fixed upon the goal, The skilful lads from town are on the prowl, Swift fly the steeds along the even green, Bored by the bloody spur, and quickly seen The champion full in front, and as he goes He wins by half a head, or half a nose; Then betting fair ones fumble for their purse, Eager the trifling wager to disburse. Alas! they've nothing hanging by their side, Save but the string by which the bag was tied, For through the silken dress a gash is seen, Where the pick-pocket's impious ...
— Fragments of Two Centuries - Glimpses of Country Life when George III. was King • Alfred Kingston

... about him, got up, hurriedly buttoned up his undergraduate's uniform, and edged up to the examiner's table. 'Take a paper, please,' the professor would say to him pleasantly. Voinitsin would stretch out his hand, and with trembling fingers fumble at the pile of papers. 'No selecting, if you please,' observed, in a jarring voice, an assistant-examiner, an irritable old gentleman, a professor in some other faculty, conceiving a sudden hatred for the unlucky bearded one. Voinitsin resigned himself to his ...
— A Sportsman's Sketches - Volume II • Ivan Turgenev

... but it held, and I got to the top, and began to fumble for the hasp or lock of the scuttle. It was thick with cob-webs and dust, and for a while it refused to move. While I was working at it I heard Mr. Snider open the door at the foot of ...
— The Voyage of the Hoppergrass • Edmund Lester Pearson

... words, set out to do, they do just as marvellously. There is no sure way of comparison here. How words do their work in poetry, and how we appreciate the way they do it—this seems to involve the obscurest processes of the mind: analysis can but fumble at it. But we can compare inspiration—the nature of the inmost urgent motive of poetry. And it is not irrelevant to add (it seems to me mere fact), that Milton had the greatest motive that has ...
— The Epic - An Essay • Lascelles Abercrombie

... off triumphant; but when the Dame caught sight of Jan's slate, without minutely examining his work, she said, "Zo thee's been scraaling on thee slate, instead of writing thee figures," and at once began to fumble beneath her chair. ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... sprawled Flicked at me with his tail, And left me blinded, miserable, distraught (Even as I was in deed, When doctors came, and odious things were done On my poor tortured eyes With lancets; or some evil acid stung And wrung them like hot sand, And desperately from room to room Fumble I must my dark, disconsolate way), To get to Bagdad how I might. But there I met with Merry Ladies. O you three - Safie, Amine, Zobeide—when my heart Forgets you all shall be forgot! And so we supped, we and the rest, On wine and roasted ...
— Poems by William Ernest Henley • William Ernest Henley

... staggered to the mantelpiece and began to fumble for the switch; in the silence his nails scratching at the panelling made a sound like to that of a gnawing mouse. He found it at last, and next instant the office broke into a blaze of light, showing Mr. Haswell, his rubicund face quite pale, his hat and umbrella ...
— The Yellow God - An Idol of Africa • H. Rider Haggard

... make a nice fumble, wouldn't we, if we didn't wear the uniform? What would it be—a month in the brig on hard ...
— Navy Boys Behind the Big Guns - Sinking the German U-Boats • Halsey Davidson

... bills. Deign not to disturb him."—"Shut up!" was the reply of the leader. "Another fellow of the same kidney. Look to him." Roughly he thrust his hand into Zensuke's bosom and began to hustle and fumble the clerk. When Jugoro[u] would interfere the two other men prevented him. With fright he saw the money belt of the banto[u] dangling from the man's hand. The nature of the affair was plain. "Heigh! Jokes don't go, honoured sirs. We are not suspicious fellows. ...
— The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 1 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... she answered. "I had—I wanted to—" And suddenly she commenced to fumble with her hand-bag; she brought forth a package of money which she placed before him on the desk. Her hands trembled so violently that she disarranged the bills, she even dropped a few; she stooped down and picked them up and stammered: "Take it, please; don't say no! It is money which ...
— Shallow Soil • Knut Hamsun

... instant Saunders was by his side and also on the ground. Again Drake raised his revolver, but Saunders was too quick for him. With a sudden blow he knocked the weapon from the other's grasp. It spun and flashed in the moonlight and fell in the weeds several yards away. Then Drake began to fumble in the pocket of his trousers for his knife. But again the younger man got the advantage. With the bound of a panther he had embraced and pinioned the arms of his antagonist to his sides. Back and forth they swung and pounded, Drake swearing, spitting, and trying even to bite. The locomotive ...
— The Desired Woman • Will N. Harben

... immediately, go far as Fen wick was concerned, he inclined towards a sailing ship bound for the Argentine. His spirits rose slightly at the prospect before him; his step was fairly light and buoyant as he proceeded in the direction of his bedroom. There was no light in the room, so that he had to fumble about in his pockets for a box of matches which fell from his fingers and dropped on ...
— The Mystery of the Four Fingers • Fred M. White

... madame! only think!" said Rosina, turning her wrinkled face toward me, and actually shaking all over with the recollection of her terror. "I thought I should have sank into the earth! I stood for a moment aghast, and then I began to fumble in my pocket. 'Where can the key be?' said I, pretending to search for it; but my countenance betrayed me, and my voice shook so, that he read me like a book. I am sure he knew the truth from that ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 3, July, 1851 • Various

... touchdown in their favor, Colby thought to remain in the lead, they soon had this hope shattered. The Columbus Academy eleven played a fast and snappy second quarter, and, as a result, before it was half over they took the ball on a fumble and circled the left ...
— The Rover Boys at Colby Hall - or The Struggles of the Young Cadets • Arthur M. Winfield

... activities about him, he crossed to the open coffin and began to fumble amongst the putrefying mass of bones and webbing which lay therein. Out from this he presently drew ...
— Tales of Chinatown • Sax Rohmer

... pause—too long for the yeomen outside. Another kick, and then another, shook the door. Hannah went over to it and began to fumble ...
— The Northern Iron - 1907 • George A. Birmingham

... novelty: Descartes himself did not do so, but ignored his subjective first principles in the development of his system; and it was not until adopted by Kant, or rather by Fichte, that the transcendental method showed its true colours. Even today philosophers fumble with it, patching soliloquy with physics and physics with soliloquy. Moreover, Locke's misunderstandings of Descartes were partly justified by the latter's verbal concessions to tradition and authority. A man who has a clear head, and like Descartes ...
— Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy - Five Essays • George Santayana

... I did," returned Shocker, smoothly. "Here you are. It's dark, isn't it? I'll light the gas," and he commenced to fumble in his pocket, as if hunting ...
— Dave Porter at Star Ranch - Or, The Cowboy's Secret • Edward Stratemeyer

... insisting that Mr. Brown should sign the paper, and finally began to fumble in his pistol pocket, whereupon it passed through Mr. Brown's mind "that the little wretch might be meaning to shoot me." As he got the pistol out, Mr. Brown seized his wrist and turned his hand downward. After one shot had been fired, the struggle continued until the two got ...
— George Brown • John Lewis

... walk up to the barrier deep in conversation. I should then get in front, and the examiner would pull me up for my ticket. I should fumble before producing my season. Meantime you would ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 156, April 9, 1919 • Various

... this time Hans had recovered his confusion; and from a certain flutter in Sybrandt, and hard breathing of Cornelis, aided by an indescribable consciousness, felt sure the pair he had to deal with were no heroes. He pretended to fumble for his money: then suddenly thrust his staff fiercely into Sybrandt's face, and drove him staggering, and lent Cornelis a back-handed slash on the ear that sent him twirling like a weathercock in March; then whirled his weapon over his head and danced ...
— The Cloister and the Hearth • Charles Reade

... to pack my own box. Cousin Egbert I found sitting as I had left him, on the edge of a chair, carefully holding his hat, stick, and gloves, and staring into the wall. He had promised me faithfully not to fumble with his cravat, and evidently he had not once stirred. I packed my box swiftly—my "grip," as he called it—and we were presently off once more, without another sight of the Honourable George, ...
— Ruggles of Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... low, wise and foolish, cultivated and rude. This Teacher does not only impart wisdom by words as from without, though He does that too, but He comes into men's spirits, and communicates Himself, and so makes them wise. Other teachers fumble at the outside, but 'in the hidden parts He makes me to know wisdom.' So it is safe to take this Teacher absolutely, and to say, 'Thou art my Master, Thy word is truth, and the opening of Thy lips to me ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... unspeakable vividness that in all probability she would pay the penalty on both sides of the grave. Awakening from one awful dream, she would, after listening to the stillness of the night for a time, lapse into another. Again she would suddenly awake and begin to fumble her rosary and repeat selections from a Catholic prayer book. Would she dare to turn back? Behind her was certain death; before her, the possibility of life. She resolved to ...
— The Woman with a Stone Heart - A Romance of the Philippine War • Oscar William Coursey

... of a man, lean-cheeked, thin-lipped, and strong. The smooth-shaven face was a healthy sallow. All his movements were quick and precise. He did not fumble his cards. The eyes were black, direct, and piercing, with the trick of seeming to look beneath the surfaces of things. His hands, slender, fine and nervous, appeared made for delicate work, and to the most casual eye they conveyed an ...
— The Turtles of Tasman • Jack London

... in this fashion, and still there were no signs of the Abati or of our missing pair. Quick began to fumble among his clothes. I asked ...
— Queen Sheba's Ring • H. Rider Haggard

... baldachino with ruby lights, and buries its shining shafts in the deep-toned shadows that hang about frescoes and sculptures and mouldings. The deeper charm even than in such things, however, is the social or historic note or tone or atmosphere of the church—I fumble, you see, for my right expression; the sense it gives you, in common with most of the Roman churches, and more than any of them, of having been prayed in for several centuries by an endlessly curious and complex society. It takes no great attention to let it come to you that ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James

... physician approached her simultaneously. At the same time, the two assistants began to fumble ...
— Notre-Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre Dame • Victor Hugo

... same time so aggravating, as to be told that you are a "mix-muddle"? A person who mixes up his commissions may feel a little abashed. A person who muddles his affairs may not be altogether proud of his achievements. But to be a mix-muddle, to both mix and muddle, to morally fumble without tact, and display a totally imbecile wandering; I shall get mixed myself if I try to describe such a state. Mixed in this sense is American too. Take a duster, dexterously swing it, and remove ...
— The Life of the Fields • Richard Jefferies

... of his capture was dramatic. A real milkman for whom Rizzi had worked in the past was marked out for slaughter. He had been blown up twice already. While he slept his wife heard some one moving in the hall. Looking out through a small window, she saw the ex-employee fumble with something and then turn out the gas on the landing. Her husband, awakened by her exit and return, asked ...
— Courts and Criminals • Arthur Train

... the first baseman the pitcher should cover the base, and if the hit is slow or if the baseman fumbles it he may still have time to toss the ball to the pitcher. The pitcher should not wait until he sees the fumble before starting, but the instant the hit is made go for the base; he will then be there and ready to receive the ball and not be forced to take it on the run. So, too, the occasion may arise when he should cover second or third, where some combination of play ...
— Base-Ball - How to Become a Player • John M. Ward

... the sender's chair, not even while the door was under attack. Only a carrier beam connected the Sword with the Altair. She continued doggedly to fumble with dials and switches, trying to modulate ...
— Industrial Revolution • Poul William Anderson

... go? The King intends That you shall soon be royal, and thereby Admitted to our breed: then stay with us In this domestic privacy to mourn The grief here fallen on our family. Kneel now; I yield the eldest daughter's place. Why do you fumble in your bosom so? Put your cold hands together; close your eyes, In inward isolation to assemble Your memories of the dead, ...
— Georgian Poetry 1913-15 • Edited by E. M. (Sir Edward Howard Marsh)

... saved the whiskey stumbled to his feet, and leaning against a pile of lumber stood open-mouthed, waiting for the preacher's rebuke; but Davis hung his head, and began to fumble for a pipe in his sagging coat pocket; with clumsy fingers, scattering the tobacco from his little bag, he tried ...
— John Ward, Preacher • Margaret Deland

... unevenly, she watched, lynx-eyed, every inch of Annie Johns' progress: watched her pick up her books, edge out of her seat and sidle through the rows of desks; watched her walk to the door with short jerky movements, mount the two steps that led to it, fumble with the handle, turn it, and vanish from sight; and when it was all over, and there was nothing more to see, she fell back in her ...
— The Getting of Wisdom • Henry Handel Richardson

... unhappy!" wailed Aline, hiding her distorted face in her hands. There was no time to fumble for a handkerchief. ...
— The Heather-Moon • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... could only fumble. Did Medford desert the woman, driving her on the stage?—or elsewhere? Did they start for Japan, and did he die on the voyage? Did he merely give the woman a pension and tell her to go back to Rouen, or to the devil? It was positive that when Helene was five years old Madame Delano had gone back ...
— The Avalanche • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... I used to be!'—is beyond the comprehension of the friendly peasants; Clive's "fear" is as much misunderstood by his auditor as his courage by the soldiers; the "foolishness" of Muleykeh equally illudes his Arab comrades; the Russian villagers, the Pope, and the lord have to fumble through a long process of argument to the conclusion which for Ivan had been the merest matter of fact from the first. Admirable in its quiet irony is the contrast between the stormy debate over his guilt or innocence and his serene security of ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... position near one of the players' benches, where he watched the Oakdale nine at practice. At times he smiled with a supercilious air of amusement, and especially was this noticeable when Eliot complimented the players or some one made some sort of a fumble or fluke. ...
— Rival Pitchers of Oakdale • Morgan Scott

... a generation a mysterious wish for war passes through the people. Their instinct tells them that there is no other way of progress and of escape from habits that no longer fit them. Whole generations of statesmen will fumble over reforms for a lifetime which are put into full-blooded execution within a week of a declaration of war. There is no other way. Only by intense sufferings can the nations grow, just as the snake once a year must with anguish ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume I • Ian Hamilton

... struck one, when she heard the click of the gate. Slowly, heavily, ominously, she heard him come up the steps and fumble with his key at the door. He entered the bedroom, and she heard him sigh as he sat down. She remained quiet, for she had learned the hypersensitiveness induced by drink and was fastidiously careful not to hurt him even with the knowledge that she had lain awake for ...
— The Valley of the Moon • Jack London

... "Then—then—then—" The visitor fumble with nerveless fingers, at his tightly buttoned cut-away coat. It resisted his efforts. Suddenly, with a snarl of exasperation, he dragged violently at the lapel, tearing the button outright from the cloth. "Look what I have done," he said, staring stupidly for a moment at the button ...
— Average Jones • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... nothing to say in answer, but she did the next best thing: she drew her rosary from under her dress waist and held it up to the Marchioness who nodded understandingly and began to fumble at her neck. In a moment she brought forth a tiny gold chain with a little gold cross hanging from it. She held it up and dangled it before the ...
— Flamsted quarries • Mary E. Waller

... his eyeglass dropped, and he had to fumble to find it, so by that time I had begun to talk to old Colonel Blake, who was at ...
— The Visits of Elizabeth • Elinor Glyn



Words linked to "Fumble" :   bloomer, boo-boo, miscarry, baseball, flub, look for, American football, pass, search, boner, fuckup, go through, foul-up, seek, go wrong, blooper, American football game, baseball game, palm, play, handle, fail, pratfall, go across



Copyright © 2023 Free-Translator.com