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

  • intransitive v. To make clumsy attempts to move or regain one's balance.
  • intransitive v. To move or act clumsily and in confusion. See Synonyms at blunder. See Usage Note at founder1.
  • n. The act of floundering.
  • n. Any of various marine flatfishes of the families Bothidae and Pleuronectidae, which include important food fishes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A European species of flatfish having dull brown colouring with reddish-brown blotches; fluke, European flounder, Platichthys flesus.
  • n. Any of various flatfish of the family Pleuronectidae or Bothidae.
  • v. To flop around as a fish out of water.
  • v. To make clumsy attempts to move or regain one's balance.
  • v. To act clumsily or confused; to struggle or be flustered.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A flatfish of the family Pleuronectidæ, of many species.
  • n. A tool used in crimping boot fronts.
  • n. The act of floundering.
  • intransitive v. To fling the limbs and body, as in making efforts to move; to struggle, as a horse in the mire, or as a fish on land; to roll, toss, and tumble; to flounce.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make clumsy efforts with the limbs and body when hampered in some manner; struggle awkwardly or impotently; toss; tumble about, as in mire or snow.
  • Figuratively, to grope uncertainly or confusedly, as for ideas or facts; speak or act with imperfect knowledge or discernment; make awkward or abortive efforts for extrication from errors of speech or conduct.
  • n. The act of struggling or splashing about, as in mire or other hampering medium: as, with a desperate flounder he freed himself.
  • n. A flatfish; a fish of the family Pleuronectidæ.
  • n. A tool whose edge is used to stretch the leather for a boot-front on a blocking-board.

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

  • v. walk with great difficulty
  • n. flesh of any of various American and European flatfish
  • v. behave awkwardly; have difficulties
  • n. any of various European and non-European marine flatfish


Probably alteration of founder1.
Middle English, from Anglo-Norman floundre, of Scandinavian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old Norse flyðra[2]. Cognate with Danish flynder, German Flunder, Swedish flundra. (Wiktionary)



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