English

Definition of teeter verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

teeter

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//ˈtiːtə(r)//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtiːtər//
 
[intransitive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they teeter
BrE BrE//ˈtiːtə(r)//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtiːtər//
 
he / she / it teeters
BrE BrE//ˈtiːtəz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtiːtərz//
 
past simple teetered
BrE BrE//ˈtiːtəd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtiːtərd//
 
past participle teetered
BrE BrE//ˈtiːtəd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtiːtərd//
 
-ing form teetering
BrE BrE//ˈtiːtərɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtiːtərɪŋ//
 
 
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  • to stand or move in an unsteady way so that you look as if you are going to fall She teetered after him in her high-heeled shoes. The car teetered on the edge of the cliff for a moment before plunging down. The girls teetered across the field.
  • Word Origin mid 19th cent.: variant of dialect titter, from Old Norse titra ‘shake, shiver’.Idioms
    teeter on the brink/edge of something
     
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    to be very close to a very unpleasant or dangerous situation The country is teetering on the brink of civil war.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: teeter