fumble: do or handle something clumsily.

If you’re a football fan you know all about the agony of the fumble — the clumsy handling of the ball that makes you drop it or lose possession.

Fumbling is an uncoordinated movement that can involve your entire body, not just your hands. Witness the poor parent of a newborn trying to fumble with a diaper on at three in the morning. Fumble has a more metaphorical meaning as well, meaning to mess up or mishandle. Politicians are often accused of fumbling the major issues.

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