Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To walk or move unsteadily or unsurely; totter.
  • intransitive v. To alternate, as between opposing attitudes or positions; vacillate.
  • intransitive v. To seesaw.
  • transitive v. To cause to teeter or seesaw.
  • n. Northeastern U.S. See seesaw. See Regional Note at teeter-totter.
  • n. Northeastern U.S. A teetering motion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To tilt back and forth on an edge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • v. To move up and down on the ends of a balanced plank, or the like, as children do for sport; to seesaw; to titter; to titter-totter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Hence To move about foolishly and aimlessly.
  • To see-saw; move up and down in see-saw fashion.
  • n. A see-saw.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. move unsteadily, with a rocking motion
  • n. a plaything consisting of a board balanced on a fulcrum; the board is ridden up and down by children at either end

Etymologies

Middle English titeren, probably from Old Norse titra, to shake.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • More simply put is what I call the teeter-totter principle.

    The Examiner Home RSS

  • So, we're a pleasure to have them going around the country and performing their cultural dance and in the circus they do a performance called the teeter-board, which is like a sliding board, or what we say, a see-saw act.

    CNN Transcript Apr 8, 2001

  • ` ` The score was kind of teeter-tottering back and forth, but when we needed the big defensive plays, we got them. ''

    USATODAY.com

  • And just to see everyone's reactions from early this afternoon when everyone had an emotion where they didn't - they were kind of teeter tottering.

    CNN Transcript Jan 4, 2006

  • Can a small boy "teeter" on a board against a big boy?

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study

  • Sometimes they walked out on the end of a wide-spreading branch, holding to the one above, and when they began to "teeter" too much they gave a spring and came down on the soft ground.

    A Little Girl in Old New York

  • Ducks and geese frequent it in the spring and fall, the white-bellied swallows (Hirundo bicolor) skim over it, and the peetweets (Totanus macularius) "teeter" along its stony shores all summer.

    Walden~ Chapter 09 (historical)

  • They were shown in a make shift stage early dinner on the "teeter" nights so that we could go to enjoy it.

    Kottu

  • We're on a kind of teeter totter and there is no way of knowing what the future will bring.

    Propeller Most Popular Stories

  • "Think about what that does to ... oil-producing [nations] and their ability to set oil prices, and have us go through the kind of teeter-totter that we just went through in the last six months," Schmidt said.

    Internet News

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