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Fumble   /fˈəmbəl/   Listen
Fumble

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



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"Fumble" Quotes from Famous Books



... my stupid fumble very nicely, laughing merrily while saying, "If you like mountains and moonlight, Mr. Gordon, and don't mind the lack of a chaperon, get a stool for yourself, too." What was more, she offered me half of the lap-robe when I was ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

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

... room to grumble! Hadst thou taen aff some drowsy bummle, Wha can do nought but fyke an' fumble, 'Twad been nae plea; But he was gleg as ony wumble, That's ...
— Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... leaving his breakfast half finished, and began to wander up and down the room, reflectively tugging at his ear. Then he began to fumble in the pockets of his dressing-gown and finally produced the inevitable pipe, dilapidated pouch, and box of safety matches. He began to load the much-charred agent ...
— The Devil Doctor • Sax Rohmer

... blankets in the locker there," and the captain turned around, and began to fumble with his hands for the latch of the little door. "Ye'd better strip ...
— Rod of the Lone Patrol • H. A. Cody

... 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 ...
— Jack Winters' Baseball Team - Or, The Rivals of the Diamond • Mark Overton

... the band. The points of the opening are connected by a loop of fringe, a couple of cords not always tied, or anything that comes handy, apparently for ornament. Now, when the husband feels moved to demonstrate his affection for his spouse by administering a beating, he is not obliged to fumble and grope among those straight folds for the awkward triangular little opening, quite unsuited to accommodate his fist. He can grasp her promptly by the neck of her chemise and this comfortable semicircle, and not force her to doubt his love by delay and hesitation in expression. I asked ...
— Russian Rambles • Isabel F. Hapgood

... clearer with the growing day; And in the cold dawn light her hair is grey: Her lifted arms are naught but bone: her hands White withered claws that fumble as she stands Trying to pin that wisp into its place. O Philip, I must look upon her face There in the mirror. Nay, but I will rise And peep over her shoulder ... Oh, the eyes That burn out from that face of skin and bone, Searching my ...
— Georgian Poetry 1920-22 • Various

... with a groan, and began to fumble for the matches. All at once Gypsy heard a very ...
— Gypsy's Cousin Joy • Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

... train rolled 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 on which he noted at the coffeehouse ...
— The Red Lily, Complete • Anatole France

... not left 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 it ...
— Industrial Revolution • Poul William Anderson

... 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 second ...
— The Further Adventures of Jimmie Dale • Frank L. Packard

... began to whimper. "I—I do not know; unless some one has stolen my key." She put a hand down to fumble in the ...
— Sir John Constantine • Prosper Paleologus Constantine

... 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 ...
— Charge! - A Story of Briton and Boer • George Manville Fenn

... daylight 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 more disappointed ...
— The Bee-Man of Orn and Other Fanciful Tales • Frank R. Stockton

... very kind children," she said. She began to fumble in a bag by her side. "Here is a shilling ...
— The Weans at Rowallan • Kathleen Fitzpatrick

... door was opened, and he saw, plain 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 ...
— Hyacinth - 1906 • George A. Birmingham

... parapet. A splinter from one lifted a man's cap from his head and sent it flying. The splinter's whirr and the man's sharp exclamation brought all eyes in his direction. His look of comical surprise and the half-dazed fashion of his lifting a hand to fumble cautiously at his head raised some laughter and ...
— Action Front • Boyd Cable (Ernest Andrew Ewart)

... 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 about the road ...
— The Cloister and the Hearth • Charles Reade

... 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 ...
— Tales of Space and Time • Herbert George Wells

... continued to fumble among her possessions in the bureau drawer; at last she brought forth an orange-coloured satin ribbon, which she placed in the Indian woman's hands with ...
— The Girl of the Golden West • David Belasco

... 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 4 ...
— A Ball Player's Career - Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson • Adrian C. Anson

... monuments of his good taste in several rhyming tragedies, and the romance of Parthenissa. His father began the world by giving his name to a treatise wrote by Atterbury and his club, which gained him great reputation; but (like Sir Martin Marall, who would fumble with his lute when the music was over) he published soon after a sad comedy of his own, and, what was worse, a dismal tragedy he had found among the first Earl of Orrery's papers. People could easier forgive his being partial to his own silly works, as a common frailty, than ...
— Lady Mary Wortley Montague - Her Life and Letters (1689-1762) • Lewis Melville

... Kurt saw the 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 make ...
— The Desert of Wheat • Zane Grey

... fashion, and on 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 ...
— Poor Folk • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... 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. ...
— The Woman with a Stone Heart - A Romance of the Philippine War • Oscar William Coursey

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

... is sinister With sounds of nameless battle overseas; Though when we turn and question in suspense If these things be indeed after these ways, And what things are to follow after these, Our fluent men of place and consequence Fumble and fill their mouths with hollow phrase, Or for the end-all of deep arguments Intone their dull commercial liturgies — I dare not yet believe! My ears are shut! I will not hear the thin satiric praise And muffled laughter of our ...
— The Little Book of Modern Verse • Jessie B. Rittenhouse

... being come to sense, But fumble in a greasy till And add the halfpence to the pence And prayer to shivering prayer, until You have dried the marrow from the bone; For men were born to pray and save, Romantic Ireland's dead and gone, It's with O'Leary ...
— The Advance of English Poetry in the Twentieth Century • William Lyon Phelps

... distress-sales of 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 Mr. Dobson has ...
— Prose Fancies • Richard Le Gallienne

... the English are, in general, the worst linguists in the world, seeing that they pursue a system diametrically opposite? For example, when they attempt to speak Spanish, the most sonorous tongue in existence, they scarcely open their lips, and putting their hands in their pockets, fumble lazily, instead of applying them to the indispensable office of gesticulation. Well may the poor Spaniards exclaim, THESE ENGLISH TALK SO CRABBEDLY, THAT SATAN HIMSELF WOULD NOT BE ABLE ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... to fumble in her pocket. "The principle is the same whether it is Gale or Dale or Tompkins. I never expected to learn of my niece's engagement from the public press. I am confident the notice said 'Gale.' Ah! I thought so. Plain as the nose on your face," she added, producing from her ...
— A Romantic Young Lady • Robert Grant

... Jason told him. "I won't begin to describe the condition my nerves were in when I hit this planet. I'm finally forced to admit that everything you said about Pyrrus is true. It is the most deadly spot in the system. And only native-born Pyrrans could possibly survive here. I can manage to fumble along a bit after my training, but I know I would never stand a chance on my own. You probably know I have an eight-year-old as a bodyguard. Gives a good idea ...
— Deathworld • Harry Harrison

... and a violent temper. One day he and a companion in the mountains fell out and fought. The Italian then had to walk twenty miles to find a surgeon, being in great need of his services. When he presented himself to the surgeon his face was heavily bandaged with blood-soaked cloths. He began to fumble in his pockets, and his face betrayed deep anxiety when he failed to find ...
— The Ape, the Idiot & Other People • W. C. Morrow

... doing? One would think you had never seen a corset before. Don't fumble! If you fumble, I shall pack you off to Paris by the first train to-morrow morning. ...
— Bella Donna - A Novel • Robert Hichens

... Ken saw a bloody finger. It was cold in the cage. Even an ordinarily hit ball must have stung the hands, and the way a hard grounder cracked was enough to excite sympathy among those scornful spectators, if nothing more. But they yelled in delight at every fumble, at everything that happened. Ken kept whispering to himself: "I can't see the fun in it. ...
— The Young Pitcher • Zane Grey

... 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 at their ...
— Plays, Acting and Music - A Book Of Theory • Arthur Symons

... Cantharides—Excellent, a Priapism follows, and as I'll handle it, it shall, old Lecherous Goat in Authority. Now they begin to Bill; how he slavers her! Gramercy Lilly, she spits his kisses out, and now he offers to fumble, she falls off, (that's a good Wench) and cries fair play above board. Who are they in the corner? As I live, a covy of Fidlers; I shall have some Musick yet at my making free o'th' Company of Horners; there's the comfort, and a Song too! He beckons for one—Sure 'tis no Anthem, nor no borrow'd ...
— The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher - Vol. 2 of 10: Introduction to The Elder Brother • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

... for a while he stood there, fighting off these yearnings while he gathered his far-strayed wits. Now and then he weakly attempted to catch the other's eye, but as Mike studiously refused to be caught, Cassidy could only blink owlishly and fumble again with the tangled ends of the skein. Finally, abandoning it all as useless, he turned toward the door, yet arrested his dazed shambling to ask ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908 • Various

... pebbly roof now. She showed plainly, for she was moving. She looked like a wounded bird, and the man, thinking he must have hurt her in some way, followed her to pick her up and see what the trouble was. Three times he almost got her. Almost, but not quite. Crippled as she seemed, she could still fumble and flutter just out of reach; and when at last the man had followed her to a corner of the roof far from her young, Mother Nomer sprang up, and spreading her long, pointed wings, took flight, whole and sound ...
— Bird Stories • Edith M. Patch

... pukka stuff!" roared the seaman, ceasing to fumble with the knots and glaring at Sin Sin Wa. ...
— Dope • Sax Rohmer

... 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

... now, but if anybody happened to go into the 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 ...
— The Slave of Silence • Fred M. White

... will not fumble for your seals, Nor listen where your tick-tick lies,— Nor dare to call in anger down The ...
— Stories of Many Lands • Grace Greenwood

... mutter, with a half sigh of relief. Then the match burns my finger, and I drop it, quickly. As I fumble for another, the thing shines out again. I know, now, that it is no fancy. This time, I light the candle, and examine the place, more closely. There is a slight, greenish discoloration 'round the scratch. I am puzzled and worried. Then a thought ...
— The House on the Borderland • William Hope Hodgson

... 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 need ...
— The Delicious Vice • Young E. Allison

... to suggest to Jetson anything very much out of the common. Because for six months no friend or relation had called to see them, that was no reason why one never should. In the fog, a stranger may have thought it simpler to knock at the door with his stick than to fumble in search of a bell. The Hepworths lived chiefly in the room at the back. The light in the drawing-room may have been switched off for economy's sake. Jetson recounted the incident on reaching home, not as ...
— Malvina of Brittany • Jerome K. Jerome

... squatted opposite each other on the table rock, and, feeling like another Sindbad the Sailor, I watched my new friend fumble in his bag and lay out at his side all sorts of odds and ends of string, fish-hooks, chewing-gum, material for making a fire, and so on, until at last he came to a package (done up, I noted with delight, in a broad, green leaf ...
— Gulliver of Mars • Edwin L. Arnold

... fumble mysteriously under the heaviest of blue jackets, saying as he did so, "Not so much noise, young masters, not so much noise! The boy was a fool to faint like ...
— Hans Brinker - or The Silver Skates • Mary Mapes Dodge

... affectionate, how friendly and how replete with deep meaning were the sentiments that dropped from her month, when, of a sudden, he saw her seal her lips and, flashing crimson, droop her head, and simply fumble with her girdle. Yet so fascinating was she in those timid blushes, which completely baffle description, that his feelings were roused within him to such a degree, that all sense of pain flew at once beyond the empyrean. "I've only had to bear a few ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... 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 ...
— Civilization and Beyond - Learning From History • Scott Nearing

... 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

... to hear the President's angry voice over the inter-com. His anxiety made him fumble, but at last, ...
— The Success Machine • Henry Slesar

... than a thousand pounds," said Archie dryly. "The Professor explained the obstacles to me. However, his doings have nothing to do with us, darling. Let Professor Braddock fumble amongst the dead if he likes. ...
— The Green Mummy • Fergus Hume

... was coming? She's generally very cross all day, and makes a point of giving away her presents to other members of the party under the very noses of the givers, to let them see what she thinks of their choice. The great idea is to sit down by her quickly when you see her begin to fumble with something you would like to have. I got quite a nice bag ...
— The Independence of Claire • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... of all things in the world I hate to be laughed at. Listen to me, and don't fumble in your pockets while I'm ...
— The Parent's Assistant • Maria Edgeworth

... lookers-on, of spitting on the hands before commencing work. This 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 ...
— The Toilers of the Field • Richard Jefferies

... give me ribs of steel, or I shall split with pleasure.—Now play me Nestor at a night alarm: mimick him rarely; make him cough and spit, and fumble with his gorget, and shake the rivets with his palsy hand, in and out, in and out; gad, ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... 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

... seemed as if the deacon must have been waiting for ten minutes at the least, and in a great flurry he began to fumble for his handkerchief. What had he done with it? Oh, there it was at last, way down in the depths ...
— Good Cheer Stories Every Child Should Know • Various

... Pa's tobacco box, and all you have to do is to touch a spring and it plays, 'She's a Daisy, She's a Dumpling.' I borrowed it and put it in Pa's pistol pocket, where he keeps his tobacco box, and when the choir got most through singing Pa reached his hand in his pocket and began to fumble around for a chew. He touched the spring, and just as everybody bowed their heads to receive the benediction, and it was so still you could hear a gum drop, the music box began to play, and in the stillness it sounded as loud as ...
— Peck's Bad Boy and His Pa - 1883 • George W. Peck

... could foster such a feud. No language except the chaos we fumble with could make it possible. By and by the war wore out of its own violence. People ceased to care how a thing was said, and began to take interest again in what was said. Those who had mimicked Amelie had grown into the habit of mimicry until they half forgot their scorn. The old-time ...
— In a Little Town • Rupert Hughes

... shrieked a voice from below, "are your fingers ever to be thumbs, then, that you should fumble your tools so? A thousand thunders of heaven! You have broken ...
— The Refugees • Arthur Conan Doyle

... happened to put my hand into my pocket, and there I found the greater part of a ship's biscuit, which, as I was quitting the cabin, I had mechanically thrust into it. I almost shouted for joy as I found the prize—though it was not much to be divided among four men. The discovery made the rest fumble in their pockets. McTavish had a tobacco-box, which he had only just filled, and Jack found a huge lump of grease, which, though not very savoury, was not to be despised. How it had come there he could not recollect. These treasures, however, ...
— Salt Water - The Sea Life and Adventures of Neil D'Arcy the Midshipman • W. H. G. Kingston

... head pityingly. "It's already too late. I'm sorry." He bent his head guiltily and began to fumble with the papers on ...
— Faithfully Yours • Lou Tabakow

... scrimmage with the second, Clint usually finished up at right or left tackle. But he couldn't help thinking that were he not there his absence would go unremarked. Even on the to him memorable occasion when he broke through the second's line on a fumble and, seizing the ball, romped almost unchallenged over the last four white lines for a touchdown the incident went apparently unnoticed. One or two of his team-mates patted him approvingly on the back, but that was all. Clint was beginning to have ...
— Left Tackle Thayer • Ralph Henry Barbour

... avenger of all silverstrian things; and from that they said 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 ...
— The Book of Wonder • Edward J. M. D. Plunkett, Lord Dunsany

... 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 his ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... bobbing cavalier would lose his balance and tug at the reins; then the horse, which had a soft mouth, would turn sideways or stand still; the rider would then smack his lips, and if this had no effect he would fumble for the whip. The horse, guessing what was required, would start again, shaking him up and down until he looked like a rag doll ...
— Selected Polish Tales • Various

... command jockeys and even trainers on occasion can act with certainty, for they have their eye on the very tap-root of the Turf upas-tree. The noodles who read sporting prints and try to look knowing can only fumble about among uncertainties; they and their pitiful money help to swell the triumphs and the purses of rascals, and they fritter away good brain-power on calculations which have no sound basis whatever. Let us get to some facts, and ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... inferior, and in the exact science of skill, she can easily and at any time outdistance the most brilliant high-school graduate, for skill is her education, and she handles, and fingers, and computes sometimes many thousands of delicate threads, or intricate bits of metal, the slightest fumble of which might throw out of gear a powerful machine. This is applied mathematics, is it not? She uses no pencil nor paper, but counts by allowing one line to overlap another at every five hundred cards, done in some fine ...
— The Girl Scout Pioneers - or Winning the First B. C. • Lillian C Garis

... 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 ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100, May 23, 1891 • Various

... denominations of five, ten, and twenty-dollar 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

... they hae room to grumble! Hadst thou taen aff some drowsy bummle, [drone] Wha can do nought but fyke an' fumble, [fuss] 'Twad been nae plea; [grievance] But he was gleg as ony wumble, [lively, auger] ...
— Robert Burns - How To Know Him • William Allan Neilson

... looks for a moment; till, with a queer grin, Donovan began to fumble in his waistcoat-pocket, and drew out, in close company with a rounded plug of tobacco, ...
— Left on Labrador - or, The cruise of the Schooner-yacht 'Curlew.' as Recorded by 'Wash.' • Charles Asbury Stephens

... 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

... call it! Now joolery is far nicer. I wish it were joolery, but I'm afraid it's too big. Open it, do! Cut the string, and don't fumble all day at one knot! The professor will buy you some more, if you ...
— More About Peggy • Mrs G. de Horne Vaizey

... came into his eyes. He turned to fumble noisily with the glasses as he replaced them ...
— Doom Castle • Neil Munro

... that 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

... exhibited an empty purse, Robin suggested his money was probably hidden in the meal and sternly ordered him to produce it without delay. Grumbling about his loss, the miller opened his sack, began to fumble in the meal, and, when all the outlaws were bending anxiously over it, flung a double handful of flour right into their eyes, thus blinding them temporarily. Had not other outlaws now rushed out of the thicket, the miller would doubtless have effected his escape, but the new arrivals held ...
— The Book of the Epic • Helene A. Guerber

... as steady and sure as they had been vacillant a moment since, he closed the safe door noiselessly, shot its bolts, and was yards away, crouching behind an armchair, before the man outside had ceased to fumble with the window fastenings. ...
— The False Faces • Vance, Louis Joseph

... compared with the slightly built foreigner, he could have overpowered him as a child might crush an egg-shell, but he lacked the mentality, the magnetism of the Italian. He was cowed, dominated by the stronger mind. Grumbling, he began to fumble at his waist: ...
— The Mask - A Story of Love and Adventure • Arthur Hornblow

... party produced an image of the Virgin 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 ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... centrepiece to the whole of this battle. As soon as we had won it I telegraphed to the Morning Post that now at last success was a distinct possibility. With this important feature in our possession it was certain that we held the key to Ladysmith, and though we might fumble a little with the lock, sooner or later, barring the accidents of war, ...
— London to Ladysmith via Pretoria • Winston Spencer Churchill

... hereditary, had welcomed the two apparitors (if that be the proper name for them) and led them kindly down the valley, and told them then to serve their writ. Misliking the look of things, these poor men began to fumble among their clothes; upon which the Doones cried, "off with them! Let us see if your message he on your skins." And with no more manners than that, they stripped, and lashed them out of the valley; only bidding them come to us, if they wanted ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... 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 give ...
— Old Man Curry - Race Track Stories • Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

... 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

... 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; ...
— Shallow Soil • Knut Hamsun

... 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 moment. He looked hard ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 3, July, 1851 • Various

... might 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 have ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 156, April 9, 1919 • Various

... 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 ...
— The Avalanche • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... you old goose; he doesn't know how you and I sat looking at one another, and pretending to fumble, and counting out slowly, waiting sick at heart for the sack of guineas that was to come down by coach. If it had not come we should not have broken, but we should have suspended payment for twenty-four hours, and I was young enough ...
— Love Me Little, Love Me Long • Charles Reade

... if a Shadow, wading in the torrent Of high excitement, snatch me from the riot— (Fool that he is)—and fumble with his warrant, And hail a hearse, and ...
— Twenty • Stella Benson

... most diligent and loyal thing an old man can do is fumble, drink beer, and let a young ...
— —And Devious the Line of Duty • Tom Godwin

... himself, springing from the onslaught of the assailant entering behind him, and thrusting the cursing Captain from his path he leaped through the sliding panel. The lock clicked home and he paused even in that moment of hammering pulses and pounding heart to fumble in the darkness to shut that other panel into the next room, remembering Fritzi's warning that those locks needed a key to open them from within. The minute's delay for the key would mean ...
— The Palace of Darkened Windows • Mary Hastings Bradley

... who did not, from time to time, nervously fumble the butt of his six-gun. As three o'clock drew on the talk grew less and less. It broke out now and again in little uneasy bursts. Someone would tell a joke. Half hysterical laughter would greet it, ...
— The Untamed • Max Brand

... visitor utter an exclamation of annoyance, and fumble in his pocket for matches. He recognised the voice. It was Mr Seymour's. The fact was that Mr Seymour had had the same experience as General Stanley ...
— The Gold Bat • P. G. Wodehouse

... one of a seal on shore. The eyes being of small use, he must touch with his hands. Those hands are the most distinctive feature of his person; they are full of expression; tenderly groping hands, that hesitate and fumble in wistful fashion like the feelers of some sensitive creature of night. There is trouble, too, in that obese and sluggish body; trouble to which the unhealthy complexion testifies. He may drink only ...
— Alone • Norman Douglas

... David to your Goliath, thou great gomeril!" replied the Earl with equal good humour, seeing his cousin Hugh blush and fumble uncomfortably ...
— The Black Douglas • S. R. Crockett

... to steal her wild young heart away. And I will kiss her in the waterfalls, 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 ...
— American Poetry, 1922 - A Miscellany • Edna St. Vincent Millay

... quiet Alcove with four Volumes that were being dissected at the drawing-room Clinics, she took a hack at the first and last Chapter of each. Just enough to protect her against a Fumble if she found herself next to ...
— Ade's Fables • George Ade

... 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, ...
— Selections From the Works of John Ruskin • John Ruskin

... back to them, but not to me, and I saw him fumble for an instant with the papers. Quickly he pressed his thumb-nail on one side, as though making a rough "W," while on the other side he made what might be an "L." Then he shoved the two sheets and the carbon into ...
— The Gold of the Gods • Arthur B. Reeve

... runs, one for thirty and the other for forty-five yards. Got a touchdown the second time. I wouldn't have, though, if Steve hadn't paced me most the way down and put the quarter out. Old Steve played like a whirlwind today. We all did, I guess. There was only one fumble, and that wasn't anyone's fault. Holt got a forward pass and a Miter Hill chap plunged into him and just about knocked the breath out of him and he let go ...
— Left Guard Gilbert • Ralph Henry Barbour



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



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