From Middle English flowndre, from Anglo-Norman floundre, from Old Northern French flondre, from Old Norse flyðra, from Proto-Germanic *flunþrijǭ. Cognate with Danish flynder, German Flunder, Swedish flundra.
flounder (plural flounders or flounder)
- A European species of flatfish having dull brown colouring with reddish-brown blotches; fluke, European flounder, Platichthys flesus.
- (Canada, US) Any of various flatfish of the family Pleuronectidae or Bothidae.
- A bootmaker's tool for crimping boot fronts.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Possibly from the noun. Probably a blend of flounce + founder or a blend of founder + blunder or from Dutch flodderen (“wade”). See other terms beginning with fl, such as flutter, flitter, float, flap, flub, flip
- (intransitive) To flop around as a fish out of water.
- (intransitive) To make clumsy attempts to move or regain one's balance.
- Robert yanked Connie's leg vigorously, causing her to flounder and eventually fall.
- (intransitive) To act clumsily or confused; to struggle or be flustered.
- 1859–1860, William Hamilton, H[enry] L[ongueville] Mansel and John Veitch, editors, Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic […], volume (please specify |volume=I to IV), Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, OCLC 648725:
- They have floundered on from blunder to blunder.
- He gave a good speech, but floundered when audience members asked questions he could not answer well.
- To be in serious difficulty.
- 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 159:
- Meanwhile bus and tram competition was causing the Central London Railway to flounder after its early success, and as for the City & South London ... that had always floundered.
Frequently confused with the verb founder. The difference is one of severity; floundering (struggling to maintain a position) comes before foundering (losing it completely by falling, sinking or failing).
- flounder at OneLook Dictionary Search
- Alternative form of