Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To move or sway unsteadily or unsurely; totter.
  • intransitive verb To alternate, as between opposing attitudes or positions; vacillate.
  • intransitive verb To be close to or in danger of failure or ruin.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

  • verb United States 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To tilt back and forth on an edge.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English titeren, probably from Old Norse titra, to shake.]

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)

  • 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

  • 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

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