stumbled upon


      • discover something unexpectedly
        To come across or find something by chance or accident, often when not actively searching for it

      • reveal a hidden truth or information
        To accidentally uncover or disclose information or a secret without intending to do so

    Examples of stumbled upon

    • While exploring the antique market, I stumbled upon a rare vintage typewriter that caught my eye. Its intricate design and mechanical features fascinated me, and I couldn't resist buying it.

      To "stumble upon" something means to accidentally discover or find it without expecting to. In this example, the speaker was browsing through the antique market and came across a unique and valuable item that they had not intended to find.

    • During a hike in the woods, I stumbled upon a hidden waterfall that seemed untouched by human hands. The sound of the water cascading down the rocks was mesmerizing, and I sat there for what felt like hours, simply admiring its beauty.

      Here, the speaker was walking through the woods and unexpectedly came across a beautiful waterfall that they hadn't known existed.

    • After digging through old books at the library, I stumbled upon a fascinating family history that I had never heard of before. The more I read, the more connected I felt to my roots and the unexplored part of my family's history.

      In this example, the speaker was searching for information at the library and came across an interesting ancestral background that they hadn't known about before.

    • While strolling through a street fair, I stumbled upon an artist selling stunning handmade ceramics that caught my eye. I ended up buying a few pieces, including a vase that I had been searching for to complete my living room's interior decor.

      Here, the speaker accidentally discovered a talented artist selling unique pottery at a street fair. They were impressed by the quality and uniqueness of the artist's works and decided to make a purchase, including a specific item that they had been wanting for a long time.

    • While browsing through a thrift store, I stumbled upon a vintage typewriter that looked almost brand new.

      The phrase "I stumbled upon" means that the speaker discovered something unexpected and unplanned. In this example, the speaker was shopping at a second-hand store and came across a typewriter that was in good condition, despite being old.

    • As I was walking through the park, I stumbled upon a group of musicians playing lovely tunes on their instruments.

      Again, the phrase "I stumbled upon" is used to communicate that the speaker encountered something pleasantly by chance. In this example, the speaker was strolling through the park when they stumbled across a group of musicians who were performing.

    • In the middle of writing an essay, I stumbled upon a quote by a famous author that perfectly summarized my point of view.

      This time, "I stumbled upon" is used to convey that the speaker came across something while they were already doing something else. They were in the midst of working on an essay when they came across a statement made by a renowned author that suited their perspective.

    • When cleaning out my attic, I stumbled upon a box filled with old photos of my grandparents and great-grandparents.

      The phrase "I stumbled upon" can also indicate that the speaker discovered something that they had forgotten about or hadn't seen in a long time. In this example, the speaker was clearing out their attic and found a container with images of their ancestors that they had overlooked.


    "Stumbled upon" is a versatile idiom that can be used in various contexts. It typically refers to discovering something unexpectedly or accidentally revealing hidden information. Whether stumbling upon a new idea or stumbling upon a secret, this idiom conveys the element of surprise and chance in finding or revealing something without prior intention.

    Origin of "stumbled upon"

    The origin of the idiom "stumbled upon" can be traced back to the literal act of stumbling or tripping over something. When someone is not paying attention or is walking in an unfamiliar or cluttered area, they may accidentally stumble upon an object or information. Over time, this physical act of stumbling has been metaphorically extended to represent the idea of unexpectedly discovering or revealing something.

    The idiom likely gained popularity due to its vivid imagery and relatable nature. People often find themselves stumbling upon things in their daily lives, leading to the idiom's widespread use in various languages and cultures. The element of surprise and chance inherent in the idiom "stumbled upon" adds a sense of spontaneity and unpredictability to the act of discovery or disclosure.