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To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

flounder, founder

The verbs flounder and founder are easily confused. The guidelines below will help you to choose the correct word.

Use the verb flounder if you mean

  • to thrash about
    • The lifeguard saw the swimmer floundering and ran into the surf to save him.
  • to struggle
    • Unprepared for the test, the student floundered about aimlessly in a sea of grammatical rules.
  • to have trouble with
    • The board of directors did not flounder on the issue of financial incentives.
  • to move clumsily or awkwardly
    • Because his snowshoes were too big, Jay floundered in the deep snow.

Use the verb founder if you mean

  • to sink
    • Many ships have foundered near Sable Island.
  • to break down; to collapse
    • Negotiations between the union and the employer are likely to founder once again.
  • to fail
    • The project finally foundered and was never revived.
  • to go lame
    • The horse favoured to win the race foundered at the finish line.