top of page



How to pronounce totter (audio)


Monster Trucks in Space

Dictionary definition of totter

To move unsteadily or waveringly, often due to a lack of balance, stability, or strength.
"The drunkard's unsteady gait caused him to totter and stumble frequently."


Detailed meaning of totter

When someone or something totters, it signifies a precarious or unstable state, as if on the verge of falling or collapsing. It suggests a faltering or shaky movement, often accompanied by a visible swaying or rocking motion. People can totter when they are physically weak, injured, or unstable on their feet. Similarly, objects can totter if they are structurally unsound or positioned in an unstable manner. The term "totter" can also be used metaphorically to describe a situation or organization that is on the brink of failure or collapse. Overall, "totter" conveys the notion of unsteadiness, fragility, and an imminent risk of losing balance or stability.

Example sentences containing totter

1. The toddler takes a few hesitant steps and begins to totter.
2. The old man's weak knees cause him to totter as he walks.
3. The stack of books on the table starts to totter and then collapses.
4. The drunkard tries to stand up straight but can only totter from side to side.
5. The building's unstable foundation makes it totter in strong winds.
6. She loses her balance and starts to totter on the edge of the cliff.

History and etymology of totter

The verb 'totter' has its origins in the Middle English word 'toteren,' which can be linked back to the Old English word 'totian.' This word's evolution reflects the notion of moving unsteadily or waveringly, typically due to a deficiency in balance, stability, or strength.

Quiz: Find the meaning of totter

Try Again!


Further usage examples of totter

1. The circus performer balances on a tightrope, trying not to totter.
2. The newborn foal tries to stand for the first time, but its legs totter beneath it.
3. The table's wobbly legs make it totter whenever something heavy is placed on it.
4. The hiker's tired legs begin to totter as they reach the summit.
5. The drunk customer tries to leave the bar but can only totter towards the door.
6. The ice skater loses control and starts to totter on the slippery surface.
7. The tower of blocks the child built starts to totter before collapsing with a crash.
8. The elderly woman clings to her walker, afraid she might totter and fall.
9. The old bridge creaks and totters as a heavy truck drives over it.
10. The exhausted runner's legs begin to totter as she reaches the finish line.
11. The Jenga tower starts to totter as the players carefully remove blocks.
12. The tree, weakened by a storm, starts to totter before falling to the ground.
13. The man's knees buckle, and he begins to totter under the weight of the heavy backpack.
14. The toddler's unsteady legs cause him to totter and stumble as he learns to walk.



wobble, steady, stabilize, balance


Balance and Stability, Challenges and Difficulties, Adversity and Obstacle, Gloom and Unpleasantness, Endeavor and Pursuit

bottom of page