[ fawl-ter ]
/ ˈfɔl tər /

verb (used without object)

to hesitate or waver in action, purpose, intent, etc.; give way: Her courage did not falter at the prospect of hardship.
to speak hesitatingly or brokenly.
to move unsteadily; stumble.

verb (used with object)

to utter hesitatingly or brokenly: to falter an apology.


the act of faltering; an unsteadiness of gait, voice, action, etc.
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


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for falter

British Dictionary definitions for falter

/ (ˈfɔːltə) /


(intr) to be hesitant, weak, or unsure; waver
(intr) to move unsteadily or hesitantly; stumble
to utter haltingly or hesitantly; stammer


uncertainty or hesitancy in speech or action
a quavering or irregular sound

Derived forms of falter

falterer, nounfalteringly, adverb

Word Origin for falter

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