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List of English Words for Manners of Walking

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Published Author, Communications Coach and Avid Biker with a penchant for Poetry


We see people around us everyday: busy people walking down the street in a hurry or not-so-busy people strolling in a park. But do you know how to describe the manner in which a person walks?

Don't worry if you don't know. Here's a list of words to help you with your vocabulary. Words mentioned here don't strictly refer to walking. Some refer to human movement as a whole. Please note that the words aren't necessarily arranged in an alphabetical order.

1. Gait - it simply means the manner in which a person walks. So, if someone has a kingly gait, it means that he walks like a king.

2. Amble - to walk in a leisurely manner as if strolling in a park.

The old man ambled along the road.

3. Falter - to walk unsteadily or hesitantly as if the person isn't sure about his steps.

Peter faltered in his step and fell down the stairs.

4. Flounder - to move clumsily as if in mud. Flop around like a fish out of water. In fact Flounder is a species of flatfish!

May floundered on the river bank trying to board a boat.

5. Limp - walk as if injured in one leg.

The naughty boy limped back from school.

6. Lumber - to walk heavily.

John lumbered up the hill while his friends reached the top.

7. Lurch - to make a sudden and unsteady movement.

The zombies lurched towards the lone survivor!

8. Ramble - move around aimlessly. (Notice similarity with amble?)

Peter and his friends rambled about the city.

9. Saunter - move around aimlessly in a leisurely pace. (Kind of similar to ramble and amble!)

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May sauntered around the locality as Julia waited for Griffin.

10. Skulk - to move in a stealthy manner.

The painter skulked around the village tying to hide from prying eyes.

11. Stagger - walk with great difficulty. (Compare with lumber)

The old man staggered across the mound in search of the fabled gold mine.

12. Stroll - walk around in a leisurely manner. (Compare with saunter)

The tourists strolled in the temple complex.

13. Stumble - walk clumsily and also trip over an obstacle while walking. (Compare with falter)

She stumbled over a piece of rock, which later turned out to be an uncut diamond.

14. Swagger - walk with a lofty gait.

The prince swaggered up the road to his palace.

15. Strut - walk in a proud manner.

The actor strutted across the stage to receive his grand prize.

16. Totter - to walk in an unstable manner.

It was suffocating inside the room. So, I tottered towards the door and opened it.

17. Teeter - to sway back and forth on the edge of some high place like a cliff or a rooftop.

I teetered at the edge of the cliff as I looked down at the ocean below.

18. Trudge - to walk heavily or wearily as if with tired legs. (Compare with lumber)

The traveler trudged along the road. The destination seemed too far.

19. Tramp - (same as trudge) to walk wearily.

The traveler tramped along the seemingly endless road.

20. Waddle - to walk with short steps, tilting the body from side to side like a duck.

The child waddled towards his father.

21 Wade - to walk through shallow water.

The firefighters waded through the flood waters to rescue the family stuck inside the building.

22. Hobble - to move unsteadily as if lame or with tied up legs.

The drunk man hobbled across the floor to flee the barfight.

23. Reel - to walk shakily.

He reeled in fever but somehow reached home.

24. Toddle - to walk unsteadily like a small child.

Grown up though he was, he preferred to toddle towards his wife. That was their foreplay.

25. Stride - to walk with long steps.

Peter Hawkins strode (past tense of stride) along the field like a conqueror.

Bonus words

Meander - to move in a curvy path.

The bikers meandered around the mountain as they moved closer to Darjeeling.

Somnambulate - walk in sleep

Somnambulist - a sleep-walker

Careen - to sway heavily from side to side.

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