tottering

[ tot-er-ing ]
/ ˈtɒt ər ɪŋ /

adjective

walking unsteadily or shakily.
lacking security or stability; threatening to collapse; precarious: a tottering empire.

QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
decorum

Origin of tottering

OTHER WORDS FROM tottering

tot·ter·ing·ly, adverbun·tot·ter·ing, adjective

Words nearby tottering

Definition for tottering (2 of 2)

totter
[ tot-er ]
/ ˈtɒt ər /

verb (used without object)

to walk or go with faltering steps, as if from extreme weakness.
to sway or rock on the base or ground, as if about to fall: The tower seemed to totter in the wind. The government was tottering.
to shake or tremble: a load that tottered.

noun

the act of tottering; an unsteady movement or gait.

Origin of totter

1150–1200; Middle English toteren to swing < ?

SYNONYMS FOR totter

1 See stagger.
2 waver.
3 oscillate, quiver.

OTHER WORDS FROM totter

tot·ter·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for tottering

British Dictionary definitions for tottering

totter
/ (ˈtɒtə) /

verb (intr)

to walk or move in an unsteady manner, as from old age
to sway or shake as if about to fall
to be failing, unstable, or precarious

noun

the act or an instance of tottering

Derived forms of totter

totterer, nountottering, adjectivetotteringly, adverbtottery, adjective

Word Origin for totter

C12: perhaps from Old English tealtrian to waver, and Middle Dutch touteren to stagger
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