flounder

1
[ floun-der ]
/ ˈflaʊn dər /

verb (used without object)

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.

QUIZZES

HEED THE VOX POPULI, AND TAKE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

Test your memory on these verbal firecrackers from the week of June 29 to July 5!
Question 1 of 7
anchorite

Origin of flounder

1
1570–80; perhaps blend of flounce1 and founder2

OTHER WORDS FROM flounder

floun·der·ing·ly, adverbun·floun·der·ing, adjective

Definition for flounder (2 of 2)

flounder2
[ floun-der ]
/ ˈflaʊn dər /

noun, plural (especially collectively) floun·der, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) floun·ders.

a European, marine flatfish, Platichthys flesus, used for food.
any of numerous similar or closely related non-European flatfishes.
any flatfish other than soles.

Origin of flounder

2
1400–50; late Middle English < Anglo-French floundre < Scandinavian; compare Norwegian flundra
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for flounder

British Dictionary definitions for flounder (1 of 2)

flounder1
/ (ˈflaʊndə) /

verb (intr)

to struggle; to move with difficulty, as in mud
to behave awkwardly; make mistakes

noun

the act of floundering

Word Origin for flounder

C16: probably a blend of founder ² + blunder; perhaps influenced by flounder ²

usage for flounder

Flounder is sometimes wrongly used where founder is meant: the project foundered (not floundered) because of a lack of funds

British Dictionary definitions for flounder (2 of 2)

flounder2
/ (ˈflaʊndə) /

noun plural -der or -ders

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 for flounder

C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse flythra, Norwegian flundra
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