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[wey-ver] /ˈweɪ vər/
verb (used without object)
to sway to and fro; flutter:
Foliage wavers in the breeze.
to flicker or quiver, as light:
A distant beam wavered and then disappeared.
become unsteady; begin to fail or give way:
When she heard the news her courage wavered.
to shake or tremble, as the hands or voice:
Her voice wavered.
to feel or show doubt, indecision, etc.; vacillate:
He wavered in his determination.
(of things) to fluctuate or vary:
Prices wavered.
to totter or reel:
The earth quaked and the tower wavered.
an act of wavering, fluttering, or vacillating.
Origin of waver1
1275-1325; Middle English (see wave, -er6); cognate with dialectal German wabern to move about, Old Norse vafra to toddle
Related forms
waverer, noun
waveringly, adverb
nonwavering, adjective
unwavered, adjective
unwavering, adjective
unwaveringly, adverb
4. quiver. 5. Waver, fluctuate, vacillate refer to an alternation or hesitation between one direction and another. Waver means to hesitate between choices: to waver between two courses of action. Fluctuate suggests irregular change from one side to the other or up and down: The prices of stocks fluctuate when there is bad news followed by good. Vacillate is to make up one's mind and change it again suddenly; to be undecided as to what to do: We must not vacillate but must set a day. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for waverer
Historical Examples
  • Nor was Seaforth the only waverer who had taken to heart the lesson taught Argyll.

    Montrose Mowbray Morris
  • Dolores would have thee before all the rest, friend; but she despises a waverer.

    The Pirate Woman Aylward Edward Dingle
  • Mr. Newman left the Church of England and with him carried many a waverer.

    Barchester Towers

    Anthony Trollope
  • What, then, will uplift him if he has been a waverer in principle as well as in fact?

    Principles of Freedom

    Terence J. MacSwiney
  • This was not the first waverer Jeff had brought back into line, not the first by several.

    The Vision Spendid William MacLeod Raine
  • Elizabeth had no will to follow in the track of Rome, and to help the Pope to drive every waverer into action.

    History of the English People John Richard Green
  • Despite his fever-shaken nerves, he was perfectly entitled to say to any waverer, Fear not.

  • Adam de Gordon, indeed, was already under suspicion, and apparently was a waverer.

    The Bruce John Barbour
  • More than one waverer was kept steady by being assured in confident terms that a speedy restoration was inevitable.

  • The generosity with which Somers treated his opponents was the more honourable to him because he was no waverer in politics.

British Dictionary definitions for waverer


verb (intransitive)
to be irresolute; hesitate between two possibilities
to become unsteady
to fluctuate or vary
to move back and forth or one way and another
(of light) to flicker or flash
the act or an instance of wavering
Derived Forms
waverer, noun
wavering, adjective
waveringly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse vafra to flicker; related to German wabern to move about
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 waverer



late 13c., weyveren, "to show indecision," probably related to Old English wæfre "restless, wavering," from Proto-Germanic *wæbraz (cf. Middle High German wabern "to waver," Old Norse vafra "to hover about"), a frequentative form from the root of wave (v.). Related: Wavered; wavering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for waverer


Related Terms

flag-waver, skivvy-waver

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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