- to struggle with stumbling or plunging movements (usually followed by about, along, on, through, etc.): He saw the child floundering about in the water.
- to struggle clumsily or helplessly: He floundered helplessly on the first day of his new job.
Origin of flounder1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for floundered
And indeed, when people tried to explain things like the banking system to me, I floundered.The US China Accounting War
December 13, 2012
Google so far has floundered in the living room, with a half-baked product called Google TV that was a total flop.Microsoft’s Tablet Revolution: Surface Marks End of the PC Era
June 20, 2012
While Romney has floundered to explain his religion, Love is confident in her faith.She-PAC Targets Democratic Misogynist Hypocrisy, Pushes GOP Women Candidates
March 20, 2012
When Steve Jobs first left in 1985, Apple floundered until he came back.News Corp. After Rupert
July 21, 2011
He was caught off guard by the Arab Spring, and he floundered for more than two months as he tried to figure out how to react.Bin Laden’s Replacement
June 16, 2011
"But you don't really mean it, Josie: you know you don't," he floundered.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
Then he pushed past her, where she floundered, and lifted out his darling.Meadow Grass
His horse had floundered in a snow-drift, and he himself was well-nigh frozen.The Chinese Fairy Book
We had too much of it in our youth, we floundered in it up to our very chins.His Masterpiece
Finally she began My Mammie, but floundered, broke down, and cried.The Christian
- to struggle; to move with difficulty, as in mud
- to behave awkwardly; make mistakes
- the act of floundering
- Also called: fluke a European flatfish, Platichthys flesus having a greyish-brown body covered with prickly scales: family Pleuronectidae : an important food fish
- US and Canadian any flatfish of the families Bothidae (turbot, etc) and Pleuronectidae (plaice, halibut, sand dab, etc)
Word Origin and History for floundered
1590s, perhaps an alteration of founder (q.v.), influenced by Dutch flodderen "to flop about," or native verbs in fl- expressing clumsy motion. Figurative use is from 1680s. Related: Floundered; floundering. As a noun derived from this sense, from 1867.
flatfish, c.1300, from Anglo-French floundre, from Old North French flondre, from Old Norse flydhra; related to Middle Low German vlundere, Danish flynder; ultimately cognate with Greek platys "flat, wide, broad" (see plaice (n.)).