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flounder

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
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English

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
flounder

Plural
flounder

flounder (flounder)
  1. (countable) Any of various flatfish of the family Pleuronectidae or Bothidae.

Translations

Verb

Infinitive
to flounder

Third person singular
-

Simple past
-

Past participle
-

Present participle
-

to flounder (third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -)
  1. (intransitive) To flop around as a fish out of water.
  2. (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.
  3. (intransitive) To act clumsily or confused; to struggle or be flustered.
    He gave a good speech, but floundered when audience members asked questions he could not answer well.

Quotations

to act clumsily
  • 1996, Janette Turner Hospital, Oyster, Virago Press, paperback edition, page 136
    He is assessing directions, but he is not lost, not floundering.

Usage notes

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.

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