1

welter

play
verb wel·ter \ ˈwel-tər \

Definition of welter

weltered; weltering play \ˈwel-t(ə-)riŋ\
intransitive verb
1 a :writhe, toss; also :wallow
b :to rise and fall or toss about in or with waves
2 :to become deeply sunk, soaked, or involved
3 :to be in turmoil

welter was our Word of the Day on 06/06/2016. Hear the podcast!

The History of welter

Welter can be used both as a noun (meaning "turmoil" or "chaos") and a verb. The verb is the older of the two; it has been part of English since at least the 1300s, while the earliest uses of the noun date from the late 1590s. Both noun and verb have roots related to Dutch and Germanic terms meaning "to roll," and both have found a place in historical English literature. The verb helps demonstrate extreme despair in the early Arthurian legend Morte Arthure ("He welterys, he wristeles, he wrynges hys handes!"), and in 1837 Thomas Carlyle used the noun in The French Revolution ("I leave the whole business in a frightful welter: … not one of them understands anything of government").

Origin and Etymology of welter

Middle English; akin to Middle Dutch welteren to roll, Old High German walzan, Lithuanian volioti, Latin volvere — more at voluble


2

welter

noun

Definition of welter

1 :a state of wild disorder :turmoil
2 :a chaotic mass or jumble
  • a bewildering welter of data

First Known Use of welter

1596


3

welter

noun

Definition of welter

First Known Use of welter

1900

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WELTER Defined for Kids

welter

play
noun wel·ter \ ˈwel-tər \

Definition of welter for Students

:a confused jumble
  • He had too much to think about and felt lost in the bewildering welter of his thoughts.
  • —Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard


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