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[fluhk-choo-ey-shuh n] /ˌflʌk tʃuˈeɪ ʃən/
continual change from one point or condition to another.
wavelike motion; undulation.
Genetics. a body variation due to environmental factors and not inherited.
Origin of fluctuation
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin fluctuātiōn- (stem of fluctuātiō) a fluctuation, wavering. See fluctuate, -ion
Related forms
nonfluctuation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fluctuation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Two countries, at least, are concerned in the fluctuation of every rate.

  • These are the main influences bearing on the fluctuation of exchange.

  • The solidity was all in the superstructure; the fluctuation had been all in the foundations.

    A Short History of England

    G. K. Chesterton
  • The price of cauliflowers is less subject to fluctuation than that of most other vegetables.

    The Cauliflower A. A. Crozier
  • Prices fluctuate, and their fluctuation is apt to be deceptive.

    The Book-Collector William Carew Hazlitt
  • There is thus practically no fluctuation in the pressure of the current generated.

    How it Works Archibald Williams
  • This fluctuation is connected with that of the hygrometric condition of the air.

    Thunder and Lightning

    Camille Flammarion
  • Malmesbury has a curious sketch of this fluctuation of fashion.

  • The least weasel in Minnesota and its fluctuation in numbers.

    American Weasels E. Raymond Hall
British Dictionary definitions for fluctuation


constant change; vacillation; instability
a variation in an animal or plant that is determined by environment rather than heredity
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
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Word Origin and History for fluctuation

mid-15c., from Middle French fluctuation (12c.) or directly from Latin fluctuationem (nominative fluctuatio) "a wavering, vacillation," noun of action from past participle stem of fluctuare "to undulate, to move in waves," from fluctus "wave, billow, surge," from past participle of fluere "to flow" (see fluent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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