falter

[fawl-ter]
verb (used without object)
1.
to hesitate or waver in action, purpose, intent, etc.; give way: Her courage did not falter at the prospect of hardship.
2.
to speak hesitatingly or brokenly.
3.
to move unsteadily; stumble.
verb (used with object)
4.
to utter hesitatingly or brokenly: to falter an apology.
noun
5.
the act of faltering; an unsteadiness of gait, voice, action, etc.
6.
a faltering sound.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English falteren, of obscure origin; perhaps akin to Old Norse faltrast to bother with, be troubled with

falterer, noun
falteringly, adverb
nonfaltering, adjective
nonfalteringly, adverb
unfaltering, adjective
unfalteringly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
falter (ˈfɔːltə)
 
vb
1.  (intr) to be hesitant, weak, or unsure; waver
2.  (intr) to move unsteadily or hesitantly; stumble
3.  to utter haltingly or hesitantly; stammer
 
n
4.  uncertainty or hesitancy in speech or action
5.  a quavering or irregular sound
 
[C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Icelandic faltrast]
 
'falterer
 
n
 
'falteringly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

falter
mid-14c., possibly from a Scandinavian source, or a frequentative of M.E. falden "to fold," influenced by fault. Related: Faltered; faltering.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The technology is faltering so badly that many electronics firms are reining in
  plans to offer it.
With the business market for the phonograph faltering, manufacturers scrambled
  to come up with other applications.
The swan murmurs sweet strains with a faltering tongue, itself the singer of
  its own dirge.
Green means they're doing well, yellow means they're faltering, and red means
  they might fail.
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