- 1[intransitive, transitive] (+ speech) to struggle to know what to say or do or how to continue with something His abrupt change of subject left her floundering helplessly.
- 2[intransitive] to have a lot of problems and to be in danger of failing completely At that time the industry was floundering. The new democracy there continues to flounder.
- 3[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to struggle to move or get somewhere in water, mud, etc. She was floundering around in the deep end of the swimming pool. A man came floundering through the snow towards us. Word Originverb late 16th cent.: perhaps a blend of founder ‘to fill with water and sink’ and blunder, or perhaps symbolic, fl- frequently beginning words connected with swift or sudden movement.
BrE BrE//ˈflaʊndə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflaʊndər//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they flounder
BrE BrE//ˈflaʊndə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflaʊndər//he / she / it flounders
BrE BrE//ˈflaʊndəz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflaʊndərz//past simple floundered
BrE BrE//ˈflaʊndəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflaʊndərd//past participle floundered
BrE BrE//ˈflaʊndəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflaʊndərd//-ing form floundering
BrE BrE//ˈflaʊndərɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflaʊndərɪŋ//