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Definition to have difficulty — such as to not know what to do or to move awkwardly on unsure footing

Flounder is also a kind of fish.
  • She is floundering in college
floundering = having difficulty
  • Floundered on the uneven footing.
  • horses floundered in the mud
  • Metal ripped on metal and I fell to the ground and rolled as far as I could, floundering to escape my wire prison.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • floundering = moving awkwardly
  • Slowly, as he ploughed and floundered through the snow,
    Jack London  --  To Build a Fire
  • floundered = moved awkwardly on unsure footing
  • I floundered around until one of the clerks, a tall guy with a blond ponytail, came over.
    Carl Deuker  --  Gym Candy
  • floundered = had difficulty — such as not knowing what to do
  • ...they began to flounder along through the mud.
    Jack London  --  Tales of the Fish Patrol
  • Guilt or innocence becomes irrelevant in the criminal trials as we flounder in a morass of artificial rules poorly conceived and often impossible to apply.
    Warren Earl Burger
  • He floundered about in darkness until he found the stairs.
    Stephen Crane  --  Maggie: A Girl of the Streets
  • Maybe for your next experiment, you could study flounders and prove the earth is flat.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • Bast floundered for a moment.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind
  • He was floundering in the river, about to go under, when he saw Zeus coming toward him.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Lucky One
  • However, his campaign floundered badly, and he was forced to drop out after securing just one delegate.
    Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard  --  Killing Kennedy
  • The dog did a somersault like a tossed pancake, lashed the air with its legs, and floundered on to its side, its body writhing in long convulsions.
    Albert Camus  --  The Plague
  • They floundered in the mud and dug their wheels down until finally the drivers cut off the motors and sat still, looking into the headlight beams.
    John Steinbeck  --  The Grapes of Wrath
  • Suddenly, in his bogged floundering in the laboratory, he touched solid earth.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Arrowsmith
  • Sarah came floundering through the snow in her father's footsteps and stood staring at him, her eyes bright under the woolen hood.
    Elizabeth George Speare  --  The Sign of the Beaver
  • Triumphantly, he watched Janza floundering on weak, wobbly knees.
    Robert Cormier  --  The Chocolate War
  • Once well into the country, Paul dismissed the carriage and walked, floundering along the tracks, his mind a medley of irrelevant things.
    Willa Cather  --  Paul's Case
  • I saw him perhaps once or twice in the course of a year..."Shultz, floundering, switched the subject.
    Truman Capote  --  In Cold Blood

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