• WordNet 3.6
    • v totter move unsteadily, with a rocking motion
    • v totter walk unsteadily "small children toddle"
    • v totter move without being stable, as if threatening to fall "The drunk man tottered over to our table"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Totter To shake so as to threaten a fall; to vacillate; to be unsteady; to stagger; as, an old man totters with age. "As a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence."
    • Totter To shake; to reel; to lean; to waver. "Troy nods from high, and totters to her fall."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • totter To stand or walk unsteadily; walk with short vacillating or unsteady steps; be unsteady; stagger.
    • totter To shake, and threaten collapse; become disorganized or structurally weak and seem ready to fall; become unstable and ready to overbalance or give way.
    • totter To dangle at the end of a rope; swing on the gallows.
    • totter Synonyms and
    • totter Stagger, etc. See reel.
    • totter To tremble, rock.
    • totter To shake; impair the stability of; render shaky or unstable.
    • totter An obsolete or dialectal form of tatter.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Totter tot′ėr to shake as if about to fall: to be unsteady: to stagger: to shake
    • ***


  • Violet Trefusis
    Violet Trefusis
    “You are my lover and I am your mistress and kingdoms and empires and governments have tottered and succumbed before now to that mighty combination.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Probably for older tolter,; cf. AS. tealtrian, to totter, vacillate. Cf.Tilt to incline, Toddle Tottle Totty
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
For tolter—M. E. tulten—A.S. tealtrian, to totter, tealt, unsteady.


In literature:

This was beyond our mark, so we tottered onward to the Stag, where we were very indifferently lodged for half the money.
"A Tramp's Wallet stored by an English goldsmith during his wanderings in Germany and France" by William Duthie
He tottered forward and turned off the alarm that had called him.
"Deathworld" by Harry Harrison
Then with clenched hands she tottered after him.
"Rose O'Paradise" by Grace Miller White
At last he came upon a bullock which was tottering along, hardly able to keep on its feet.
"In the Musgrave Ranges" by Jim Bushman
Ghastly pale and sick with horror, she tottered and staggered as she entered the room.
"Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer" by Cyrus Townsend Brady
Some of them tottered as they walked, some fell in the snow and with difficulty regained their feet.
"The Gaunt Gray Wolf" by Dillon Wallace
An ancient, tottering little man drops in on me here to know if I can paint his wife.
"Erdgeist (Earth-Spirit)" by Frank Wedekind
It had taken this news from the harbor to bring him tottering, crashing down.
"The Harbor" by Ernest Poole
He had just strength left to push open the gate, totter across the lawn and knock at the door; then he sank in a faint on the steps.
"Tales from Dickens" by Charles Dickens and Hallie Erminie Rives
He veered upon the Duke with such violence that his enormous red bulk seemed about to totter over upon the tall and bent figure.
"The Fifth Queen" by Ford Madox Ford

In poetry:

The heav'ns his rightful power proclaim,
The idol-gods around
Fill their own worshippers with shame,
And totter to the ground.
"Psalm 97" by Isaac Watts
I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door,
And again
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o'er the ground
With his cane.
"The Last Leaf" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Let idols totter to the ground,
And their own worshippers confound
But Judah shout, but Zion sing,
And earth confess her sovereign King.
"Psalm 97 part 2" by Isaac Watts
So hard it seems that one must bleed
Because another needs will bite!
All round we find cold Nature slight
The feelings of the totter-knee'd.
"Whimper Of Sympathy" by George Meredith
I am not old -- I cannot be old,
Though tottering, wrinkled, and grey;
Though my eyes are dim, and my marrow is cold,
Call me not old to-day.
"The Song Of Seventy" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
'Tis misty all, both sight and sound -
I only know 'tis fair and sweet -
'Tis wandering on enchanted ground
With dizzy brow and tottering feet.
"Fourth Sunday In Advent" by John Keble

In news:

In statement s after the meeting, those leaders affirmed their countries' pledges to prop up Greece's tottering finances.
A still from Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow showing Anselm Kiefer's 'tottering, bunker-like' structures.
New Orleans, perhaps more than any other American city, is a tottering coat rack of clichés.
Western Wayne's varsity football team is tottering on the brink of a disastrous season.
SMACR functions like a teeter-totter.
Up to now, watching a Wes Anderson movie was like entering a playground and discovering that the sandbox, the teeter-totters, and all the swings were being hogged by adults.
They made the rules for all of the games and dictated the use of the merry-go-round, swings and teeter-totters.
Have you noticed that you don't see teeter-totter s on playgrounds anymore.
Marriage Amendment Teeter-Totter May Be Tipping.
In Minnesota, the marriage amendment teeter-totter may be tipping, but is it enough to defeat the ballot measure.
G-Braves totter into All-Star break, but not all is bad.
Theories abound to save Europe's tottering car makers.
Libya, like a number of other oil-rich nations, is tottering on the brink of revolution and, perhaps, chaos.
It Teetered, It Tottered, It Was Bound to Fall Down.
Audrey Totter in "Lady in the Lake".

In science:

Mah´e et al. (2004) extend this approach in two ways: They enrich the labels via the so-called Morgan index, and modify the kernel definition to prevent tottering, that is, the generation of high similarity scores by multiple, similar, small substructures.
Graph Kernels
Trying to rectify this situation by normalizing the matrices involved brings to the fore another phenomenon called tottering (Mah´e et al., 2004).
Graph Kernels
Roughly speaking tottering implies that short self-repeating walks have a disproportionately large contribution to the kernel value.
Graph Kernels