from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To be unsteady in purpose or action, as from loss of courage or confidence; waver. See Synonyms at hesitate.
- intransitive v. To speak hesitatingly; stammer.
- intransitive v. To move ineptly or haltingly; stumble.
- intransitive v. To operate or perform unsteadily or with a loss of effectiveness: The automobile engine faltered.
- n. Unsteadiness in speech or action.
- n. A faltering sound.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. unsteadiness.
- v. To waver or be unsteady.
- v. To stammer.
- v. To stumble.
- v. To lose faith or vigor; to doubt or abandon (a cause).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To thrash in the chaff; also, to cleanse or sift, as barley.
- intransitive v. To hesitate; to speak brokenly or weakly; to stammer.
- intransitive v. To tremble; to totter; to be unsteady.
- intransitive v. To hesitate in purpose or action.
- intransitive v. To fail in distinctness or regularity of exercise; -- said of the mind or of thought.
- transitive v. To utter with hesitation, or in a broken, trembling, or weak manner.
- n. Hesitation; trembling; feebleness; an uncertain or broken sound.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To be unsteady; tremble; totter: as, his legs falter.
- To fail in accuracy, distinctness, or regularity of exercise or function; fail or waver from physical or moral weakness, emotion, etc.
- To hesitate, especially to hesitate in the utterance of words; speak with a broken or trembling utterance; stammer: as, his tongue falters.
- Synonyms Stutter, etc. See stammer.
- n. The act of faltering, hesitating, trembling, stammering, or the like; unsteadiness; hesitation; trembling; quavering.
- To thresh in the chaff; cleanse or sift out, as barley.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. walk unsteadily
- n. the act of pausing uncertainly
- v. speak haltingly
- v. be unsure or weak
- v. move hesitatingly, as if about to give way
Middle English falteren, to stagger, possibly from Old Norse faltrask, to be puzzled, hesitate.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English falteren ("to stagger"), probably from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse faltrast, be encumbered) or from a Middle English frequentative of falden, folden ("to fold"). More at fold. (Wiktionary)