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flounder
used in Moby Dick

8 uses
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Definition
to have difficulty — such as to not know what to do or to move awkwardly on unsure footing
  • Not a mightier whale than this In the vast Atlantic is; Not a fatter fish than he, Flounders round the Polar Sea.
    Extracts (61% in)
  • "In the free element beneath me swam, Floundered and dived, in play, in chace, in battle, Fishes of every colour, form, and kind; Which language cannot paint, and mariner Had never seen; from dread Leviathan To insect millions peopling every wave: Gather'd in shoals immense, like floating islands, Led by mysterious instincts through that waste And trackless region, though on every side Assaulted by voracious enemies, Whales, sharks, and monsters, arm'd in front or jaw, With swords,...
    Extracts (58% in)
  • A mariner sat in the shrouds one night, The wind was piping free; Now bright, now dimmed, was the moonlight pale, And the phospher gleamed in the wake of the whale, As it floundered in the sea.
    Extracts (69% in)
  • They are generally Richard III. whales, with dromedary humps, and very savage; breakfasting on three or four sailor tarts, that is whaleboats full of mariners: their deformities floundering in seas of blood and blue paint.
    Chapters 55-57 -- Monstrous Pictures of Whales; Less Erroneous Pictures of Whales; Whales in Paint…. (32% in)
  • ...he did not keep well scoured like his other pans; this old Fleece, as they called him, came shuffling and limping along, assisting his step with his tongs, which, after a clumsy fashion, were made of straightened iron hoops; this old Ebony floundered along, and in obedience to the word of command, came to a dead stop on the opposite side of Stubb's sideboard; when, with both hands folded before him, and resting on his two-legged cane, he bowed his arched back still further over, at...
    Chapters 64-66 -- Stubb's Supper; The Whale as a Dish; The Shark Massacre (30% in)
  • So down there, some ten feet below the level of the deck, the poor harpooneer flounders about, half on the whale and half in the water, as the vast mass revolves like a tread-mill beneath him.
    Chapters 70-72 -- The Sphynx; The Jeroboam's Story; The Monkey-Rope (70% in)
  • And right in among those sharks was Queequeg; who often pushed them aside with his floundering feet.
    Chapters 70-72 -- The Sphynx; The Jeroboam's Story; The Monkey-Rope (84% in)
  • Inasmuch, then, as this Leviathan comes floundering down upon us from the head-waters of the Eternities, it may be fitly inquired, whether, in the long course of his generations, he has not degenerated from the original bulk of his sires.
    Chapters 103-105 -- Measurement of The Whale's Skeleton; The Fossil Whale; Does the Whale Diminish (61% in)

There are no more uses of "flounder" in Moby Dick.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
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