From Middle English schambyll, shamyll, schamel, from Old English sċeamol, scamol (“bench, stool”), from Proto-West Germanic *skamul, *skamil, from Proto-Germanic *skamulaz, *skamilaz, from Latin scamellum, a variant of scabellum (“footstool”). Cognate with Dutch schemel (“footstool, bench”), German Schemel (“stool”), Danish skammel (“stool”). Icelandic skemill (“footstool”).
- To walk while shuffling or dragging the feet.
- I wasn't too impressed with the fellow, when he shambled in unenthusiastically and an hour late.
- 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter 64, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299, page 328:
- The old black, not in any very high glee at having been previously roused from his warm hammock at a most unseasonable hour, came shambling along from his galley, for, like many old blacks, there was something the matter with his knee-pans, which he did not keep well scoured like his other pans; [...]
shamble (plural shambles)
- (mining) One of a succession of niches or platforms, one above another, to hold ore which is thrown successively from platform to platform, and thus raised to a higher level.