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.

Origin of flounder

1
1570–80; perhaps blend of flounce1 and founder2

Related forms

floun·der·ing·ly, adverbun·floun·der·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for floundered

British Dictionary definitions for floundered (1 of 2)

flounder

1
/ (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

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

British Dictionary definitions for floundered (2 of 2)

flounder

2
/ (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