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

Several of Trump’s other proposals to lower drug prices have faltered recently, including efforts to force drug companies to list their prices on TV ads. Katie Thomas, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump administration proposes allowing drug imports for cheaper prescriptions," 31 July 2019 Government efforts to build more prisons have faltered, leading to the dangerous overcrowding. Washington Post, "Why Brazil has been so prone to deadly prison riots," 30 July 2019 The aging public safety radio system has faltered at critical times under heavy use, slowing responses and preventing police from communicating with dispatchers and fellow officers. Larry Barszewski, sun-sentinel.com, "School bus radios won’t slow police communications anymore," 26 July 2019 Trade talks with China have faltered in recent months, and Mr. Trump and his aides appear to be in no hurry to resolve the dispute, projecting confidence that China is suffering more of the harm, if not all of it. New York Times, "Tariffs on China Don’t Cover the Costs of Trump’s Trade War," 15 July 2019 His career has faltered after a bright start, with the move to Liverpool five years ago still a bad memory for Reds fans. SI.com, "5 Strikers West Ham Should Target After Maxi Gomez & Callum Wilson Failures," 13 July 2019 The administration's efforts to build a coalition to counter Iran have faltered, and Trump is unlikely to find a receptive audience at the summit. Tracy Wilkinson, latimes.com, "Trump to meet Putin, Xi at G-20, but with unclear goals, expectations are low," 26 June 2019 China, the world’s largest car market and the biggest source of electric-car demand, saw electric-car sales overall drop 2.8% in 2018, the first time in two decades demand there has faltered. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting ran on pure, high-octane optimism," 12 June 2019 In fact, in season three, The Handmaid’s Tale has really faltered at finding any sense of dread whatsoever. Emily Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Handmaid’s Tale ends a terrible story arc with an episode that’s kind of okay," 17 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When misfires happen, trust in government falters and civic engagement declines. Hana Callaghan, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Abolish the Electoral College, make every vote count," 19 June 2019 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

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

9 Aug 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

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