- (British) IPA: /ˈfɔːltə(r)/, /ˈfɒltə(r)/
- German: Wanken
falter (falters, present participle faltering; past and past participle faltered)
- To waver or be unsteady; to weaken or trail off.
- He found his legs falter.
- (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.
- 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.
- To stumble.
- (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.
- 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.
- To cleanse or sift, as barley.
- German: wanken
- Russian: дрогнуть