falter

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v falter speak haltingly "The speaker faltered when he saw his opponent enter the room"
    • v falter walk unsteadily "The drunk man stumbled about"
    • v falter move hesitatingly, as if about to give way
    • v falter be unsure or weak "Their enthusiasm is faltering"
    • n falter the act of pausing uncertainly "there was a hesitation in his speech"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Falter Hesitation; trembling; feebleness; an uncertain or broken sound; as, a slight falter in her voice. "The falter of an idle shepherd's pipe."
    • Falter To fail in distinctness or regularity of exercise; -- said of the mind or of thought. "Here indeed the power of disinct conception of space and distance falters ."
    • Falter To hesitate in purpose or action. "Ere her native king
      Shall falter under foul rebellion's arms."
    • Falter To hesitate; to speak brokenly or weakly; to stammer; as, his tongue falters . "With faltering speech and visage incomposed."
    • v. t Falter To thrash in the chaff; also, to cleanse or sift, as barley.
    • Falter To tremble; to totter; to be unsteady. "He found his legs falter ."
    • v. t Falter To utter with hesitation, or in a broken, trembling, or weak manner. "And here he faltered forth his last farewell.""Mde me most happy, faltering “I am thine.”"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • falter To be unsteady; tremble; totter: as, his legs falter.
    • falter To fail in accuracy, distinctness, or regularity of exercise or function; fail or waver from physical or moral weakness, emotion, etc.
    • falter To hesitate, especially to hesitate in the utterance of words; speak with a broken or trembling utterance; stammer: as, his tongue falters.
    • falter Synonyms Stutter, etc. See stammer.
    • n falter The act of faltering, hesitating, trembling, stammering, or the like; unsteadiness; hesitation; trembling; quavering.
    • falter To thresh in the chaff; cleanse or sift out, as barley.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Falter fawl′tėr to stumble: to fail or stammer in speech: to tremble or totter: to be feeble or irresolute
    • n Falter any unsteadiness
    • ***

Quotations

  • George Eliot
    George%20Eliot
    “No great deed is done by falterers who ask for certainty.”
  • Queen's Mother Elizabeth
    Queen's Mother Elizabeth
    “Cowards falter, but danger is often overcome by those who nobly dare.”
  • Frederick W. Faber
    Frederick W. Faber
    “For right is right, since God is God and right the day must win. To doubt would be disloyalty, to falter would be sin.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. falteren, faltren, prob. from fault,. See Fault (v. & n.)

Usage

In literature:

She faltered not an instant.
"Woman's Work in the Civil War" by Linus Pierpont Brockett
But her last song had been by the bedside of her dying child, and those who heard her say there was not a faltering note.
"St. Cuthbert's" by Robert E. Knowles
The army before us and the army behind never faltered.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
Ask Him that my hand may not falter.
"'Smiles'" by Eliot H. Robinson
It would have needed a quick eye to see that his step had faltered, if never so slightly.
"Nicanor - Teller of Tales" by C. Bryson Taylor
Whenever a foot faltered, she must step into the ranks.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 104, June, 1866" by Various
The caller faltered something about a pipe.
"Joan of Arc of the North Woods" by Holman Day
His words were strange and somewhat faltering.
"Frank Merriwell's Pursuit" by Burt L. Standish
You would not have me falter, would you, Azalia?
"Winning His Way" by Charles Carleton Coffin
At a recollection she walked more and more slowly, her pace according with the faltering of her heart beats.
"Sacrifice" by Stephen French Whitman
Every word he was faltering was making the strangest, sweetest music in her ears and in her heart.
"Nell, of Shorne Mills" by Charles Garvice
Woe to him if his will likewise falter, if his resolution fail, and his spirit bend its neck to the yoke of this new enemy!
"The Life of Friedrich Schiller" by Thomas Carlyle
Flora de Barral's voice faltered.
"Chance" by Joseph Conrad
I opened my lips to speak; she saw his name faltering on my tongue, and stopped me.
"The Forsaken Inn" by Anna Katharine Green
She faltered, began again, and finally looked appealingly, a schoolgirl once more, at her Head Mistress.
"Judy of York Hill" by Ethel Hume Patterson Bennett
At that point McNiece faltered for a moment.
"Our Casualty And Other Stories" by James Owen Hannay, AKA George A. Birmingham
The little man-creature faltered to the shady side of one of the shelters and sat down.
"The Black Phantom" by Leo Edward Miller
Why," her voice faltered and she ended breathlessly, "what makes you look so?
"Country Neighbors" by Alice Brown
But he can only falter something about the inscrutable designs of Providence, and not a sparrow falling to the ground unnoticed.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
She told him her father was just the same, in faltering tones.
"The Perpetual Curate" by Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant
***

In poetry:

And I remember the musician
Faltering over his fiddle
In Bayswater, London,
He too set me the riddle.
"Memory of my Father" by Patrick Kavanagh
When all our outward longings falter,
And summer's mind
Within we find,
Is friendship's feast round autumn's altar.
"Frederik Hegel" by Bjornstjerne Bjornson
For, through the shining multitude,
With feeble step and slow,
A weary man, in garments rude,
All falteringly did go.
"A Book of Dreams: Part I" by George MacDonald
As if with keenness for our fate,
Our faltering few steps on
To white rest, and a place of rest
Invisible at dawn,—
"Stars" by Robert Frost
Thy requiem asks a sweeter lay;
It falters on my tongue;
For all we vainly strive to say,
Thou shouldst thyself have sung!
"Our Sweet Singer" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Tho' the way is wild as ever,
Still I falter not, nor fear;
Led by thee, I'll pierce the forest,
See the vaulting skies appear.
"Aspirations" by Mathilde Blind

In news:

Super Bowl champion Giants once again faltering after good start.
With 'Today' Faltering , NBC Reassigns Executive Producer.
San Diego thumps faltering Kansas City.
Jerry Brown's tax-hike measure faltering .
UK's Faltering Economy Stresses Out Oil–Gas Professionals.
Hamilton struggles with faltering standardized test scores.
WORLD economic growth is faltering , the International Monetary Fund said this week, as it forecast that most of the large developed economies would either shrink this year or grow at paltry rates of 2 percent or less.
E-mails show faltering efforts at crisis control after Sullivan ouster.
Cancer drug helps patient despite faltering in trials.
Ron Paul's Efforts to Make Impact at GOP Convention Faltering .
Joe Blanton starts out strong before faltering in Dodgers 7-3 loss at Marlins.
Political Crisis Behind The Faltering Eurozone.
Faltering Iran talks stoke fears of new conflict.
Simpson overtakes faltering Furyk to win US Open.
When it comes to his faltering marriage, you could say Dino Spinelli put some gasoline on the fire when he put some water in the tank.
***

In science:

By so doing, however, his/her confidence in the Painlev´e test will falter at the first encounter of one of the innumerable so-called exceptions, counterexamples, and so on, which are published every year.
The Painlev\'e approach to nonlinear ordinary differential equations
It can be added that for an item as the 1960 D penny that costs only 20 dollars even at its peak price, it would be fairly easy for many collectors to buy more; nevertheless this does not happen: as soon as the number of new customers entering the market begins to level off, the bubble begins to falter.
"Thermometers" of Speculative Frenzy
Once again we see an initial convergence from coarse to fine resolutions but then the convergence appears to falter.
A Smooth Lattice construction of the Oppenheimer-Snyder spacetime
***