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falter

[fawl-ter]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to hesitate or waver in action, purpose, intent, etc.; give way: Her courage did not falter at the prospect of hardship.
  2. to speak hesitatingly or brokenly.
  3. to move unsteadily; stumble.
verb (used with object)
  1. to utter hesitatingly or brokenly: to falter an apology.
noun
  1. the act of faltering; an unsteadiness of gait, voice, action, etc.
  2. a faltering sound.

Origin of falter

1300–50; Middle English falteren, of obscure origin; perhaps akin to Old Norse faltrast to bother with, be troubled with
Related formsfal·ter·er, nounfal·ter·ing·ly, adverbnon·fal·ter·ing, adjectivenon·fal·ter·ing·ly, adverbun·fal·ter·ing, adjectiveun·fal·ter·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unfaltering

Historical Examples

  • He hesitated, looking at her firmly with his unfaltering gaze.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • From that time until the present year she has been unfaltering in her devotion.

  • But courage was unfaltering, faith undimmed, power unabated.

  • How many reasons for your deep and unfaltering affection for each other!

    The Wedding Ring

    T. De Witt Talmage

  • Now, from Alicia's manner it was plain that the blow had fallen from an unfaltering hand.

    Half a Hero

    Anthony Hope


British Dictionary definitions for unfaltering

falter

verb
  1. (intr) to be hesitant, weak, or unsure; waver
  2. (intr) to move unsteadily or hesitantly; stumble
  3. to utter haltingly or hesitantly; stammer
noun
  1. uncertainty or hesitancy in speech or action
  2. a quavering or irregular sound
Derived Formsfalterer, nounfalteringly, adverb

Word Origin

C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Icelandic faltrast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for unfaltering

adj.

1660s, from un- (1) "not" + present participle of falter. Related: Unfalteringly.

falter

v.

mid-14c., of unknown origin, possibly from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse faltrask "be burdened, hesitate, be troubled"), or a frequentative of Middle English falden "to fold," influenced by fault. Related: Faltered; faltering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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