1

falter

play
verb fal·ter \ ˈfȯl-tər \

Definition of falter

faltered; faltering play \ˈfȯl-t(ə-)riŋ\
intransitive verb
1 a :to walk unsteadily :stumble
  • the … stranger falters out of the thicket and drops to his knees
  • —Dudley Fitts
b :to give way :totter
  • could feel my legs faltering
c :to move waveringly or hesitatingly
  • forced to bail out of faltering airplanes over the Alps
  • Nat'l Geographic
2 :to speak brokenly or weakly :stammer
  • her voice faltered
3 a :to hesitate in purpose or action :waver
  • he never faltered in his determination
b :to lose drive or effectiveness
  • the business was faltering
transitive verb
:to utter hesitatingly or brokenly
  • faltered an excuse

falterer

play \ˈfȯl-tər-ər\ noun

falteringly

play \ˈfȯl-t(ə-)riŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of falter in a Sentence

  1. The business was faltering due to poor management.

  2. Their initial optimism has faltered.

  3. signs that the economy is faltering

  4. Her steps began to falter.

Recent Examples of falter from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'falter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of falter

Middle English

Synonym Discussion of falter

hesitate, waver, vacillate, falter mean to show irresolution or uncertainty. hesitate implies a pause before deciding or acting or choosing.
    • hesitated before answering the question
waver implies hesitation after seeming to decide and so connotes weakness or a retreat.
    • wavered in his support of the rebels
vacillate implies prolonged hesitation from inability to reach a firm decision.
    • vacillated until events were out of control
falter implies a wavering or stumbling and often connotes nervousness, lack of courage, or outright fear.
    • never once faltered during her testimony

2

falter

noun

Definition of falter

:an act or instance of faltering

Recent Examples of falter from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'falter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of falter


FALTER Defined for English Language Learners

falter

play
verb

Definition of falter for English Language Learners

  • : to stop being strong or successful : to begin to fail or weaken

  • : to begin to walk or move in an unsteady way

  • : to feel doubt about doing something


FALTER Defined for Kids

falter

play
verb fal·ter \ ˈfȯl-tər \

Definition of falter for Students

faltered; faltering
1 :to move unsteadily :waver
2 :to hesitate in speech
3 :to hesitate in purpose or action


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