falter

[fawl-ter]
See more synonyms for falter on Thesaurus.com
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 faltered

Contemporary Examples of faltered

Historical Examples of faltered

  • "I think—we've—we've always did our own buttling," she faltered.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • But for a second she faltered; if ever quick action were needed, it was now.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • Yet he never, in the darkest hour, faltered or hesitated for a moment.

  • "I—I won't do it again," she faltered, twisting her hands together.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • He faltered; a worried and calculating look shadowed his small eyes.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance


British Dictionary definitions for faltered

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 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

Word Origin and History for faltered

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