Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Teeter \Tee"ter\, v. i. & t. [imp. & p. p. Teetered; p. pr. & vb. n. Teetering.] [Prov. E. titter to tremble, to seesaw; cf. Icel. titra to tremble, OHG. zittar[=o]n, G. zittern.] To move up and down on the ends of a balanced plank, or the like, as children do for sport; to seesaw; to titter; to titter-totter. [U. S.]
[The bobolink] alit upon the flower, and teetered up
--H. W. Beecher.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
1843, "to seesaw," alteration of Middle English titter "move unsteadily," probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse titra "to shake, shiver, totter, tremble," from Proto-Germanic *ti-tra- (cognates: German zittern "to tremble"). Meaning "move unsteadily, be on the edge of imbalance" is from 1844. Noun teeter-totter "see-saw" is attested from 1905 (earlier simply teeter, 1855, and titter-totter in same sense is from 1520s). Totter (n.) "board swing" is recorded from late 14c.; see totter (v.).
vb. To tilt back and forth on an edge.
Usage examples of "teeter".
She tasted herself on his handsit was arousing as all heck, but she was teetering on the edge of hysteria certainly not a good time to be thinking about a twofer.
There were some astonishing buildings on the skylinefairytale, spires wrapped in the lace of white balconies, a great pearshaped dome of sparkling blue tile, a teetering cuboid fantasy of tinted glass and dressed stone, something like a shimmering sphere divided like the segments of an orange into freestanding slices.
Barmaids scurried from table to table, balancing wooden steins on teetering trays, serving rowdy customers, fending passes, keeping up with the orders.
Ferdy was stretching his arms to balance his two hundred pounds of compact flab, teetering along the gangway like a circus elephant balancing on a tub.
A dry wind had come up from the south and in the eucalyptus trees the grackles teetered and screamed.
At last, by determination and luck, in that state where a dribble of seminal fluid has already appeared and control teeters in the balance, he acceded to her entrails.
He stood behind Jammy and steadied the chair each time it teetered too far back.
He took a few wobbly steps towards Falsh, Kameez still teetering alarmingly above him.
Adonis the car slithered down a sloping piece of ground, teetered over a low bank, and splashed logily into water.
A whole string of Spanish horses had to be coaxed down a gangplank, teetering riskily even when someone suggested they be blindfolded.
Meanwhile -- for when a missile has reached that infinitesimal point after which descent begins, it hesitates for a moment, and pretends to stand still -- while then the pocket-knife stands still at its zenith, Amsel tears his gaze away from the object that has reached this infinitesimal point and once more -- the object is already falling quickly fitfully, because now more exposed to the head wind, riverward -- has his eye on his friend Matern who is still teetering on the ball of his foot and his toes sockless in high shoe, holding his right hand high and far from his body, while his left arm steers and tries to keep him in balance.
Monsieur Saume stood, his hat in his hand, and Nanice teetered on a chair as if afraid it must be dirtying her skirt.
A springy bundle of cypress teetered, then tipped like an unfolding set of shears and swan-dived onto the pavement.
Instead, Alan caught himself on the peeled sisal pole that held up one corner of a booth, swung on it and felt the booth teeter, sending a trayful of small oranges flowing over the floor like billiard balls.
For a moment his mind teetered at an extremity, ready to pitch forward into an abysmal madness or fall back stunned to a skyey lucidity.