Synonym Chooser

How does the verb falter differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of falter are hesitate, vacillate, and waver. While all these words mean "to show irresolution or uncertainty," falter implies a wavering or stumbling and often connotes nervousness, lack of courage, or outright fear.

never once faltered during her testimony

When would hesitate be a good substitute for falter?

The words hesitate and falter can be used in similar contexts, but hesitate implies a pause before deciding or acting or choosing.

hesitated before answering the question

When is vacillate a more appropriate choice than falter?

The synonyms vacillate and falter are sometimes interchangeable, but vacillate implies prolonged hesitation from inability to reach a firm decision.

vacillated until events were out of control

In what contexts can waver take the place of falter?

In some situations, the words waver and falter are roughly equivalent. However, waver implies hesitation after seeming to decide and so connotes weakness or a retreat.

wavered in his support of the rebels

Thesaurus Entries Near falter

Cite this Entry

“Falter.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/falter. Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

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