One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘she tottered off on her four-inch heels’
teeter, walk unsteadily, stagger, wobble, stumble, dodder, shuffle, shamble, falter, reel, toddle, hobble, sway, roll, lurch
2‘the foundations began to heave and totter’
shake, sway, tremble, quiver, teeter, shudder, judder, rock, quake, reel, lurch
3‘the Habsburg Empire was tottering’
be unstable, be unsteady, be shaky, be insecure, be precarious, be on the point of collapse, falter
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