View synonyms for fluctuate


[ fluhk-choo-eyt ]

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.

    Synonyms: oscillate

verb (used with object)

, fluc·tu·at·ed, fluc·tu·at·ing.
  1. to cause to fluctuate.


/ ˈflʌktjʊˌeɪt /


  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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Other Words From

  • non·fluctu·ating adjective
  • un·fluctu·ating adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of fluctuate1

First recorded in 1625–35; from Latin fluctuātus “undulated,” past participle of fluctuāre “to flow,” equivalent to fluctu(s) “a flowing” (derivative of fluere “to flow”) + -ātus -ate 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of fluctuate1

C17: from Latin fluctuāre , from fluctus a wave, from fluere to flow

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Synonym Study

See waver 1.

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Example Sentences

Smith, the Turning Point field director, said, “The number fluctuates and many have gone back to school.”

Writing in Ars Technica, John Timmer points out that aligning the coolant channels with all the components in a much more complex chip—whose activity could fluctuate based on the task—would be very tricky.

In addition, Enten found that favorable ratings can also fluctuate a lot after this point in the election cycle.

Cycle length can vary greatly from woman to woman, and even fluctuate from month to month.

Venture investors last valued the company in 2015 at $20 billion, with the value fluctuating since then on the secondary markets.

From Fortune

The numbers fluctuate, of course, but some trends can be discerned.

Worst of all, they elide the obvious point that all revolts fluctuate between periods of progress and regression.

Margins fluctuate in every market, and there's no reason for farmers to be treated as a special case.

Other ideas about crying fluctuate between the sociological and the biological.

With liquidity so low, share prices began to wildly fluctuate.

Their dimensions, which vary a good deal, fluctuate between two-fifths and four-fifths of an inch in length.

Both credit and currency begin to fluctuate wildly with the evaporation of public confidence.

The syllable has great inherent sonority and does not fluctuate significantly as to quantity and stress.

His resolutions might fluctuate, and the pause of a few minutes restore to him his first resolutions.

Faces begin soon (in Shakspeare's fine expression) to "dislimn:" features fluctuate: combinations of feature unsettle.


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More About Fluctuate

What does 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’s mood.

This kind of continual change is called fluctuation.

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

Where does fluctuate come from?

The first records of the word fluctuate come from the 1600s. It comes from the Latin verb fluctuāre, meaning “to flow,” from fluctus, “a wave.”

Waves in the ocean are always in motion, rising, falling, going back and forth—they’re 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’s very hot, and the night, when it can get very cold. But a person’s mood might fluctuate—between happy and grumpy, for example—much more unpredictably.

Things that fluctuate can be said to be in a state of flux—continuous 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

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

How is fluctuate used in real life?

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



Try using fluctuate!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym for fluctuate

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