Fluctuate Fluc"tu*ate, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Fluctuated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Fluctuating}.] [L. fluctuatus, p. p. of fluctuare, to wave, fr. fluctus wave, fr. fluere, fluctum, to flow. See {Fluent}, and cf. {Flotilla}.] 1. To move as a wave; to roll hither and thither; to wave; to float backward and forward, as on waves; as, a fluctuating field of air. --Blackmore. [1913 Webster]

2. To move now in one direction and now in another; to be wavering or unsteady; to be irresolute or undetermined; to vacillate.

Syn: To waver; vacillate; hesitate; scruple.

Usage: To {Fluctuate}, {Vacillate}, {Waver}. -- Fluctuate is applied both to things and persons and denotes that they move as they are acted upon. The stocks fluctuate; a man fluctuates between conflicting influences. Vacillate and waver are applied to persons to represent them as acting themselves. A man vacillates when he goes backward and forward in his opinions and purposes, without any fixity of mind or principles. A man wavers when he shrinks back or hesitates at the approach of difficulty or danger. One who is fluctuating in his feelings is usually vacillating in resolve, and wavering in execution. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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