[ fluhk-choo-eyt ]
/ 藞fl蕦k t蕛u藢e瑟t /
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See synonyms for: fluctuate / fluctuated / fluctuating on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), fluc路tu路at路ed, fluc路tu路at路ing.
to change continually; shift back and forth; vary irregularly: The price of gold fluctuated wildly last month.
to move back and forth in waves.
verb (used with object), fluc路tu路at路ed, fluc路tu路at路ing.
to cause to fluctuate.
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Fill in the blank: I can鈥檛 figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of fluctuate

First recorded in 1625鈥35; from Latin fluctu膩tus 鈥渦ndulated,鈥 past participle of fluctu膩re 鈥渢o flow,鈥 equivalent to fluctu(s) 鈥渁 flowing鈥 (derivative of fluere 鈥渢o flow鈥) + -膩tus-ate1

synonym study for fluctuate

1. See waver1.


non路fluc路tu路at路ing, adjectiveun路fluc路tu路at路ing, adjective

Words nearby fluctuate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does聽fluctuate mean?

Fluctuate means to continually change or shift back and forth.

The verb is most commonly used in the context of abstract or intangible things that frequently change, such as temperature, the stock market, or someone鈥檚 mood.

This kind of continual change is called fluctuation.

Example: The volume on my TV keeps fluctuating鈥攊t gets louder during commercials and then it gets quiet again when the show comes back on.

Where does聽fluctuate come from?

The first records of the word fluctuate come from the 1600s. It comes from the Latin verb fluctu膩re, meaning 鈥渢o flow,鈥 from fluctus, 鈥渁 wave.鈥

Waves in the ocean are always in motion, rising, falling, going back and forth鈥攖hey鈥檙e always fluctuating. Still, fluctuate is most commonly applied to nonphysical things. The amount of money in your bank account will fluctuate as you make deposits and withdrawals. Fluctuation may be predictable or unpredictable. The temperature in deserts often regularly fluctuates between the day, when it鈥檚 very hot, and the night, when it can get very cold. But a person鈥檚 mood might fluctuate鈥攂etween happy and grumpy, for example鈥攎uch more unpredictably.

Things that fluctuate can be said to be in a state of flux鈥攃ontinuous change. (The word flux comes from the same root as fluctuate).

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What are some other forms related to fluctuate?

  • fluctuation (noun)
  • nonfluctuating (adjective)
  • unfluctuating (adjective)

What are some synonyms for fluctuate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with fluctuate?聽

What are some words that often get used in discussing fluctuate?

How is聽fluctuate used in real life?

Fluctuate can be used in all kinds of contexts, but it鈥檚 most often used in discussion of intangible things.



Try using聽fluctuate!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym for fluctuate?聽

A. waver
B. veer
C. oscillate
D. persist

How to use fluctuate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fluctuate

/ (藞fl蕦ktj蕣藢e瑟t) /

to change or cause to change position constantly; be or make unstable; waver or vary
(intr) to rise and fall like a wave; undulate

Word Origin for fluctuate

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