1. A confused mass; a jumble: a welter of papers and magazines.
2. Confusion; turmoil.
intr.v. wel·tered, wel·ter·ing, wel·ters
1. To wallow, roll, or toss about, as in mud or high seas.
2. To lie soaked in a liquid.
3. To roll and surge, as the sea.
[From Middle English welteren, to toss about, as in high seas, from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch, to roll; see wel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.