Other forms: faltered; faltering; falters

Falter means to hesitate, stumble, or waver, and everything from faith to voices can do it. So if you want to keep your bride or groom happy, it's best not to falter when it's your turn to say "I do."

Experts may falter if you ask them where falter came from, because the origins are pretty unclear. But everyone agrees on the current meaning: someone who falters is unsteady, wobbly, or unsure. You might falter while reciting a poem if you forget some of the lines, or falter crossing a rickety rope bridge when fear gets the most of you. But you certainly won't falter when someone asks you the meaning of this word.

Definitions of falter
  1. verb
    move hesitatingly, as if about to give way
    synonyms: waver
    see moresee less
    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  2. verb
    walk unsteadily
    synonyms: bumble, stumble
    see moresee less
    type of:
    use one's feet to advance; advance by steps
  3. verb
    speak haltingly
    “The speaker faltered when he saw his opponent enter the room”
    synonyms: bumble, stammer, stutter
    see moresee less
    type of:
    mouth, speak, talk, utter, verbalise, verbalize
    express in speech
  4. noun
    the act of pausing uncertainly
    synonyms: faltering, hesitation, waver
    see moresee less
    type of:
    temporary inactivity
  5. verb
    be unsure or weak
    “Their enthusiasm is faltering
    synonyms: waver
    see moresee less
    type of:
    hesitate, waffle, waver
    pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness




Cite this entry
  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago

Copy citation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘falter'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up falter for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer