falter
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˈfɔːltə(r)/, /ˈfɒltə(r)/
Noun

falter

  1. unsteadiness.
Translations Verb

falter (falters, present participle faltering; past and past participle faltered)

  1. To waver or be unsteady; to weaken or trail off.
    • He found his legs falter.
  2. (ambitransitive) To stammer; to utter with hesitation, or in a weak and trembling manner.
    • And here he faltered forth his last farewell.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 2”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      With faltering speech and visage incomposed.
  3. To fail in distinctness or regularity of exercise; said of the mind or of thought.
    • Here indeed the power of distinct conception of space and distance falters.
  4. To stumble.
  5. (figuratively) To lose faith or vigor; to doubt or abandon (a cause).
    • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 1, in Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473 ↗:
      And remember, comrades, your resolution must never falter.
  6. To hesitate in purpose or action.
    • 1595 December 9 (first known performance)​, William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii]:
      Ere her native king / Shall falter under foul rebellion's arms.
  7. To cleanse or sift, as barley.
Translations
  • German: wanken
  • Russian: дрогнуть
Translations Translations


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