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fluctuate

[fluhk-choo-eyt]
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verb (used without object), fluc·tu·at·ed, fluc·tu·at·ing.
  1. to change continually; shift back and forth; vary irregularly: The price of gold fluctuated wildly last month.
  2. to move back and forth in waves.
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verb (used with object), fluc·tu·at·ed, fluc·tu·at·ing.
  1. to cause to fluctuate.
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Origin of fluctuate

1625–35; < Latin fluctuātus undulated, past participle of fluctuāre to flow, equivalent to fluctu(s) a flowing (derivative of fluere to flow) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsnon·fluc·tu·at·ing, adjectiveun·fluc·tu·at·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1. See waver1. 2. oscillate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fluctuates

Historical Examples

  • Miss Rawlins fluctuates, as she hears the lady's story, or as she hears mine.

    Clarissa, Volume 5 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • When it becomes panicky and fluctuates and resolves itself into small unheroic deals, woman gets the job.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • Between these limits it fluctuates in a somewhat irregular way, in which the property of periodicity is not conspicuous.

  • From the former there has been an export trade for many years which fluctuates remarkably according to the demand.

  • The general rate of interest in the Philippines fluctuates from six to nine per cent.


British Dictionary definitions for fluctuates

fluctuate

verb
  1. to change or cause to change position constantly; be or make unstable; waver or vary
  2. (intr) to rise and fall like a wave; undulate
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin fluctuāre, from fluctus a wave, from fluere to flow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fluctuates

fluctuate

v.

1630s, from Latin fluctuatus, past participle of fluctuare "to undulate" (see fluctuation). Related: Fluctuated; fluctuates; fluctuating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper