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

  • intransitive verb To sway as if about to fall.
  • intransitive verb To appear about to collapse.
  • intransitive verb To walk unsteadily or feebly; stagger. synonym: blunder.
  • noun The act or condition of tottering.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To stand or walk unsteadily; walk with short vacillating or unsteady steps; be unsteady; stagger.
  • To shake, and threaten collapse; become disorganized or structurally weak and seem ready to fall; become unstable and ready to overbalance or give way.
  • To dangle at the end of a rope; swing on the gallows.
  • Synonyms and
  • Stagger, etc. See reel.
  • To tremble, rock.
  • To shake; impair the stability of; render shaky or unstable.
  • An obsolete or dialectal form of tatter.

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

  • intransitive verb To shake so as to threaten a fall; to vacillate; to be unsteady; to stagger.
  • intransitive verb To shake; to reel; to lean; to waver.

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

  • noun an unsteady movement or gait
  • noun archaic A rag and bone man.
  • verb To walk,move or stand unsteadily or falteringly; threatening to fall.
  • verb archaic, intransitive To collect junk or scrap.

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

  • verb walk unsteadily
  • verb move without being stable, as if threatening to fall
  • verb move unsteadily, with a rocking motion


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

[Middle English toteren, perhaps of Scandinavian origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English totren, toteren, from earlier *tolteren (compare English dialectal tolter ("to struggle, flounder"); Scots tolter ("unstable, wonky")), from Old English tealtrian ("to totter, vacillate"), from Proto-Germanic *taltrōnan, *taltōnan (“to sway, dangle, hesitate”), from Proto-Indo-European *del-, *dul- (“to shake, hesitate”). Cognate with Dutch touteren ("to tremble"), North Frisian talt, tolt ("unstable, shaky"). Related to tilt.


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