Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A flatfish; a fish of the family Pleuronectidæ.
  • noun A tool whose edge is used to stretch the leather for a boot-front on a blocking-board.
  • noun The act of struggling or splashing about, as in mire or other hampering medium: as, with a desperate flounder he freed himself.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A flatfish of the family Pleuronectidæ, of many species.
  • noun (Bootmaking) A tool used in crimping boot fronts.
  • intransitive verb 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.
  • noun The act of floundering.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old Norse flyðra. Cognate with Danish flynder, German Flunder, Swedish flundra.

Support

Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word flounder.

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.