move without being stable, as if threatening to fall
"The drunk man tottered over to our table"
toddle, coggle, totter, dodder, paddle, waddle(verb)
"small children toddle"
teeter, seesaw, totter(verb)
move unsteadily, with a rocking motion
English Synonyms and Antonyms
A thing is shaken which is subjected to short and abruptly checked movements, as forward and backward, up and down, from side to side, etc. A tree is "shaken with a mighty wind;" a man slowly shakes his head. A thing rocks that is sustained from below; it swings if suspended from above, as a pendulum, or pivoted at the side, as a crane or a bridge-draw; to oscillate is to swing with a smooth and regular returning motion; a vibrating motion may be tremulous or jarring. The pendulum of a clock may be said to swing, vibrate, or oscillate; a steel bridge vibrates under the passage of a heavy train; the term vibrate is also applied to molecular movements. Jolting is a lifting from and letting down suddenly upon an unyielding surface; as, a carriage jolts over a rough road. A jarring motion is abruptly and very rapidly repeated through an exceedingly limited space; the jolting of the carriage jars the windows. Rattling refers directly to the sound produced by shaking. To joggle is to shake slightly; as, a passing touch joggles the desk on which one is writing. A thing trembles that shakes perceptibly and with an appearance of uncertainty and instability, as a person under the influence of fear; a thing shivers when all its particles are stirred with a slight but pervading tremulous motion, as a human body under the influence of cold; shuddering is a more pronounced movement of a similar kind, in human beings often the effect of emotional or moral recoil; hence, the word is applied by extension to such feelings even when they have no such outward manifestation; as, one says, "I shudder at the thought." To quiver is to have slight and often spasmodic contractile motions, as the flesh under the surgeon's knife. Thrill is applied to a pervasive movement felt rather than seen; as, the nerves thrill with delight; quiver is similarly used, but suggests somewhat more of outward manifestation. To agitate in its literal use is nearly the same as to shake, tho we speak of the sea as agitated when we could not say it is shaken; the Latin agitate is preferred in scientific or technical use to the Saxon shake, and especially as applied to the action of mechanical contrivances; in the metaphorical use agitate is more transitory and superficial, shake more fundamental and enduring; a person's feelings are agitated by distressing news; his courage, his faith, his credit, or his testimony is shaken. Sway applies to the movement of a body suspended from above or not firmly sustained from below, and the motion of which is less pronounced than swinging, smoother than vibrating, and not necessarily constant as oscillating; as, the swaying of a reed in the wind. Sway used transitively especially applies to motions of grace or dignity; brandish denotes a threatening or hostile motion; a monarch sways the scepter; the ruffian brandishes a club. To reel or totter always implies liability to fall; reeling is more violent than swaying, tottering more irregular; a drunken man reels; we speak of the tottering step of age or infancy. An extended mass which seems to lack solidity or cohesion is said to quake; as, a quaking bog. Quaver is applied almost exclusively to tremulous sounds of the human voice. Flap, flutter, and fluctuate refer to wave-like movements, flap generally to such as produce a sharp sound; a cock flaps his wings; flutter applies to a less pronounced and more irregular motion; a captive bird or a feeble pulse flutters. Compare FLUCTUATE.
agitate, brandish, flap, fluctuate, flutter, jar, joggle, jolt, jounce, oscillate, quake, quaver, quiver, reel, rock, shake, shiver, shudder, sway, swing, thrill, tremble, vibrate, wave, waver
Translations for totter
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- zakolísat, klopýtat, kymácet se, potácet se, vrávoratCzech
- schwanken, Torkeln, TaumelnGerman
- horjua, hoippua, horjunta, hoipuntaFinnish
- chute, écroulementFrench
- tántorog, totyogHungarian
- kaurori, tapepaMāori
- tuimeling, valpartijDutch
- teturanje, teturatiSerbo-Croatian
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