1

flounder

play
noun floun·der \ˈflau̇n-dər\

Definition of flounder

plural

flounder

or

flounders

  1. :  flatfish; especially :  a marine fish of either of two families (Pleuronectidae and Bothidae) that include important food fishes

flounder was our Word of the Day on 07/29/2016. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology of flounder

Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian flundra flounder


First Known Use: 15th century

Other Fishes Terms


2

flounder

verb floun·der

Definition of flounder

floundered

;

floundering

play \ˈflau̇n-d(ə-)riŋ\
  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to struggle to move or obtain footing :  thrash about wildly The poor horse was floundering in the mud.

  3. 2 :  to proceed or act clumsily or ineffectually the normally surefooted governor floundered a moment like a prize pupil caught unprepared — Time

Examples of flounder in a sentence

  1. The horses were floundering through the deep snow.

  2. He was floundering around in the pool like an amateur.

  3. After watching me flounder for a few minutes, my instructor took over.

Did You Know?

Despite the fact that flounder is a relatively common English verb, its origins in the language remain obscure. It is thought that it may be an alteration of an older verb, founder. To founder is to become disabled, to give way or collapse, or to come to grief or to fail. In the case of a waterborne vessel, to founder is to sink. The oldest of these senses of founder, "to become disabled," was also used, particularly in reference to a horse and its rider, for the act of stumbling violently or collapsing. It may have been this sense of founder that later appeared in altered form as flounder in the sense of "to stumble."

Origin and Etymology of flounder

probably alteration of founder


First Known Use: 1592


FLOUNDER Defined for English Language Learners

1

flounder

play
noun floun·der \ˈflau̇n-dər\

Definition of flounder for English Language Learners

  • : a type of fish that has a flat body and that is eaten as food


2

flounder

verb floun·der

Definition of flounder for English Language Learners

  • : to move in an awkward way with a lot of difficulty and effort

  • : to be unsure about what to do or say

  • : to have a lot of problems and difficulties


FLOUNDER Defined for Kids

1

flounder

play
noun floun·der \ˈflau̇n-dər\

Definition of flounder for Students

  1. :  a flatfish used for food


2

flounder

play
verb floun·der

Definition of flounder for Students

floundered

;

floundering

  1. 1 :  to struggle to move or get footing The horses were floundering in the mud.

  2. 2 :  to behave or do something in a clumsy way I floundered through the speech.



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