[ fik-uhl ]
See synonyms for: ficklefickleness on

  1. likely to change, especially due to caprice, irresolution, or instability; casually changeable: fickle weather.

  2. not constant or loyal in affections: a fickle lover.

Origin of fickle

First recorded before 1000; Middle English fikel, Old English ficol “deceitful,” akin to fācen “treachery,” (be)fician “to deceive,” fǣcne “deceitful,” gefic “deception”

synonym study For fickle

1, 2. Fickle, inconstant, capricious, vacillating describe persons or things that are not firm or steady in affection, behavior, opinion, or loyalty. Fickle implies an underlying perversity as a cause for the lack of stability: the fickle seasons, disappointing as often as they delight; once lionized, now rejected by a fickle public. Inconstant suggests an innate disposition to change: an inconstant lover, flitting from affair to affair. Capricious implies unpredictable changeability arising from sudden whim: a capricious administration constantly and inexplicably changing its signals; a capricious and astounding reversal of position. Vacillating means changeable due to lack of resolution or firmness: an indecisive, vacillating leader, apparently incapable of a sustained course of action.

Other words for fickle

Other words from fickle

  • fick·le·ness, noun
  • un·fick·le, adjective

Words Nearby fickle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use fickle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fickle


/ (ˈfɪkəl) /

  1. changeable in purpose, affections, etc; capricious

Origin of fickle

Old English ficol deceitful; related to fician to wheedle, befician to deceive

Derived forms of fickle

  • fickleness, noun

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