Why did Obama's White House flounder in its initial response to the economic crisis?
China may flounder on the soccer field, but the country is in the grip of a mad World Cup fever.
Instead, Bayou, Israel's hedge-fund group, continued to flounder and the deception only grew.
1590s, perhaps an alteration of founder (q.v.), influenced by Dutch flodderen "to flop about," or native verbs in fl- expressing clumsy motion. Figurative use is from 1680s. Related: Floundered; floundering. As a noun derived from this sense, from 1867.
flatfish, c.1300, from Anglo-French floundre, from Old North French flondre, from Old Norse flydhra; related to Middle Low German vlundere, Danish flynder; ultimately cognate with Greek platys "flat, wide, broad" (see plaice (n.)).