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.
to be in imminent danger of failure: The negotiations floundered primarily on the question of extending regional autonomy.
Other definitions for flounder (2 of 2)
a European, marine flatfish, Platichthys flesus, used for food.
any of numerous similar or closely related non-European flatfishes.
any flatfish other than soles.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use flounder in a sentence
As the continent is constituted currently, you cannot have a successful Pan-Africanism economically, socially, and culturally, while its biggest nation flounders.
It’s unlikely the HEROES Act will get passed as is, but you know, a floundering industry can dream.What the New Iteration of the HEROES Act Would Mean for Restaurants | Jaya Saxena | September 29, 2020 | Eater
As Magic Leap floundered, it began to re-examine its options.Magic Leap tried to create an alternate reality. Its founder was already in one | Verne Kopytoff | September 26, 2020 | Fortune
Starting several decades ago, four psychologists decided to examine how individuals flourish or flounder over the long run.‘The Origins of You’ explores how kids develop into their adult selves | Bruce Bower | September 16, 2020 | Science News
A decade ago, city leaders floated a brand new City Hall complex but the idea floundered and the city, instead, began renegotiating its leases.
So far, proposals of “Senate flounder,” “House blowfish,” and “Hope and Change smelt” have met with little public acceptance.Up to a Point: P.J. O’Rourke on Valentine’s Day and Oral Hygiene | P. J. O’Rourke | February 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Instead, Bayou, Israel's hedge-fund group, continued to flounder and the deception only grew.
Why did Obama's White House flounder in its initial response to the economic crisis?
China may flounder on the soccer field, but the country is in the grip of a mad World Cup fever.
It has a bathing beach where the gals show what they've got and fat men flounder and cavort far beyond their capacities.David Lannarck, Midget | George S. Harney
Men crawled over one another, then dropped to the first open spot, to flounder there a moment, then roar in snoring sleep.The White Desert | Courtney Ryley Cooper
Those who followed were compelled to flounder on the best way they could.The Battle of New Orleans | Zachary F. Smith
And they can go where horses couldn't do anything but flounder and probably cut themselves with their own feet.The Tale of Pony Twinkleheels | Arthur Scott Bailey
She was most aptly named; indeed, I think the flounder would have been a still more appropriate designation.The Sportswoman's Library, v. 2 | Various
British Dictionary definitions for flounder (1 of 2)
to struggle; to move with difficulty, as in mud
to behave awkwardly; make mistakes
the act of floundering
British Dictionary definitions for flounder (2 of 2)
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)
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