un floundering


1 [floun-der]
verb (used without object)
to struggle with stumbling or plunging movements (usually followed by about, along, on, through, etc.): He saw the child floundering about in the water.
to struggle clumsily or helplessly: He floundered helplessly on the first day of his new job.

1570–80; perhaps blend of flounce1 and founder2

flounderingly, adverb
unfloundering, adjective

2. falter, waver, muddle.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
flounder1 (ˈflaʊndə)
1.  to struggle; to move with difficulty, as in mud
2.  to behave awkwardly; make mistakes
3.  the act of floundering
usage  Flounder is sometimes wrongly used where founder is meant: the project foundered (not floundered) because of a lack of funds

flounder2 (ˈflaʊndə)
n , pl -der, -ders
1.  Also called: fluke a European flatfish, Platichthys flesus having a greyish-brown body covered with prickly scales: family Pleuronectidae: an important food fish
2.  (US), (Canadian) any flatfish of the families Bothidae (turbot, etc) and Pleuronectidae (plaice, halibut, sand dab, etc)
[C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse flythra, Norwegian flundra]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1590s, perhaps an alteration of founder (q.v.), influenced by Du. flodderen "to flop about," or native verbs in fl- expressing clumsy motion. Related: Floundered; floundering.

"flatfish," c.1304, from Anglo-Fr. floundre, from O.N.Fr. flondre, from O.N. flydhra, related to M.L.G. vlundere, cognate with Gk. platys "flat, wide, broad" (see place (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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