falter

verb
fal·​ter | \ ˈfȯl-tər How to pronounce falter (audio) \
faltered; faltering\ ˈfȯl-​t(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce faltering (audio) \

Definition of falter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : 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 AlpsNat'l Geographic
2 : to speak brokenly or weakly : stammer her voice faltered
3a : 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

falter

noun

Definition of falter (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of faltering

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Other Words from falter

Verb

falterer \ ˈfȯl-​tər-​ər How to pronounce falterer (audio) \ noun
falteringly \ ˈfȯl-​t(ə-​)riŋ-​lē How to pronounce falteringly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for falter

Synonyms: Verb

balance, dither, halt, hang back, hesitate, scruple, shilly-shally, stagger, teeter, vacillate, waver, wobble (also wabble)

Antonyms: Verb

dive (in), plunge (in)

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Choose the Right Synonym for falter

Verb

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

Examples of falter in a Sentence

Verb

The business was faltering due to poor management. Their initial optimism has faltered. signs that the economy is faltering Her steps began to falter.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But in the years before his retirement in 1992, Chrysler’s earnings and Iacocca’s reputation faltered. Julio Ojeda-zapata, Twin Cities, "Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca has died at age 94," 2 July 2019 Iran and other parties to the agreement have tried to salvage it, but that effort has faltered, particularly as the U.S. sanctions started to crush Iran's economy. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump threatens 'overwhelming force' against Iran if it attacks 'anything American'," 25 June 2019 But after a strong start to the year, Attinella faltered in a game against the Columbus Crew on April 20, twice throwing the ball straight to Crew players. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive.com, "Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark has stepped up in starting lineup," 25 June 2019 But past plans to pay for the road’s construction, through BP oil spill settlements, have faltered. al.com, "In Baldwin County, ‘bad timing’ clouds Beach Express toll," 4 June 2019 Kat and Adena dated in season one, but in season two their relationship faltered; we were left with a major cliffhanger going into the third season, which premiered Tuesday night. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "I Love The Bold Type for Showing a Queer Woman Talk About Sex With Her Straight Friends," 10 Apr. 2019 Plans to quickly repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act faltered amid the lack of any sort of consensus among Republicans as to what the party should replace Obamacare with. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "How Paul Ryan lost and Donald Trump won in the fight for the future of the GOP," 11 Apr. 2018 His website touts his media savvy, saying ‘‘most lawyers falter and under-utilize’’ connections with the press. BostonGlobe.com, "Once silent, Stormy Daniels speaks loudly with lawsuit targeting Trump," 10 Mar. 2018 Despite the promising results, progress in developing CGRP receptor antagonists faltered because of a serious side effect: liver toxicity that arose in trials of three of these drugs. R. Allan Purdy, Scientific American, "Can Anything Stop My Migraine?," 1 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

If the former vice president falters, or if his campaign continues to resemble a never-ending apology tour, donors are investing in contingency candidates, and right now that means Buttigieg and Harris. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "What Does Big Tech Want From Buttigieg?," 9 July 2019 Boston’s lead was erased in the seventh with a disastrous nine-run inning that saw the Yankees send 14 guys to the plate and three Red Sox relievers falter, from Marcus Walden to Matt Barnes to Josh Taylor. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Red Sox traveled long way to learn they’re far from being threat to Yankees," 30 June 2019 And demand for social services will increase when the economy falters, which is precisely the time when the state’s tax collections fall. The Economist, "WelfareCalifornia and Texas are both failing their neediest citizens," 22 June 2019 As confidence in virtual reality falters, AR is now experiencing levels of hype similar to the VR wave of five years ago, with startups like Magic Leap raising close to $2.5 billion to develop AR glasses and related content. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "The Fall and Rise of VR: The Struggle to Make Virtual Reality Get Real," 20 June 2019 As private-sector job growth falters, the clamor for quotas builds. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "India’s Ethnic Quotas Are a Cautionary Tale," 24 Jan. 2019 Borrowers may struggle to repay their loans if interest rates continue to rise or global growth falters, the BOE said. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "BOE Warns of Growing Risks in Global Debt Markets," 27 June 2018 Why, then, does the pulse of the narrative falter in the second half? Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Gus Van Sant’s Semi-Surreal “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot”," 13 July 2018 The Broncos are left without a prized rookie QB to take over if Case Keenum falters, but the team around Keenum has been improved. Mark Maske, chicagotribune.com, "AFC draft grades: The Broncos are alone at the top followed by a lot of pass/fails," 30 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of falter

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for falter

Verb and Noun

Middle English

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Learn More about falter

Dictionary Entries near falter

Falster

falsum

faltboat

falter

falus

fam

Fama

Statistics for falter

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for falter

The first known use of falter was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for falter

falter

verb

English Language Learners Definition of falter

: 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

verb
fal·​ter | \ ˈfȯl-tər How to pronounce falter (audio) \
faltered; faltering

Kids Definition of falter

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on falter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with falter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for falter

Spanish Central: Translation of falter

Nglish: Translation of falter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of falter for Arabic Speakers

Comments on falter

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