to change continually; shift back and forth; vary irregularly: The price of gold fluctuated wildly last month.
to move back and forth in waves.
to cause to fluctuate.
- non·fluc·tu·at·ing, adjective
- un·fluc·tu·at·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use fluctuate in a sentence
The flu vaccines are notoriously imperfect in how well they protect against infection, as effectiveness rates fluctuate but tend to be between 40 and 60 percent.Once You Get The COVID-19 Vaccine, Can You Still Infect Others? | Maggie Koerth (firstname.lastname@example.org) | December 18, 2020 | FiveThirtyEight
Since March, airlines have revised their flight routes as demand fluctuated, reducing service to smaller cities and the number of transcontinental domestic routes.Here are 6 things to consider about holiday travel | Terry Nguyen | December 11, 2020 | Vox
We want to have a better sense of what sort of state it’s in, whether it’s permanent or part of a fluctuating water cycle, how widely distributed it is, and whether we truly can harvest it to derive something useful.This is what NASA wants to do when it gets to the moon | Neel Patel | December 9, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
Polls have fluctuated but suggest only 50% to 58% of people will definitely get vaccinated.Crystal Ball 2021: Predictions for the economy, politics, technology, and more | lbelanger225 | December 1, 2020 | Fortune
The numbers of coronavirus cases reported have fluctuated over the holiday weekend, going from 127,563 cases on Thursday to a record 197,686 cases on Friday, before dipping over the weekend, according to data from The Washington Post.The Health 202: Obese Americans could be prioritized for coronavirus vaccine | Paige Winfield Cunningham | November 30, 2020 | Washington Post
Before the hiring surge began in 2006, misconduct arrests for offenses like drunken driving fluctuated.On Polygraph Tests, Would-Be Border Patrol Agents Confess to Crimes | Andrew Becker | April 4, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Abortion sentiment has fluctuated over time, but not by very much, and it has gone both up and down in the decades since Roe.Did Legalizing Abortion Cause Single Motherhood to Spike? | Megan McArdle | January 25, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
There are many other cases but “spillover” violence has long fluctuated, not spiraled.Republicans Want a Fence on the Border. Big Mistake. | Larry Kaplow | December 2, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
The body language at the defense table fluctuated between stiff-as-a-board avoidance and utter defeat.Conrad Murray Gets Maximum as Judge Blasts His ‘Reckless’ Conduct | Diane Dimond | November 30, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
While Al Gore was vice president, his charitable contributions fluctuated.
By merely looking at him you might see that he would never rally, though he fluctuated much.Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
Mrs. Stockhausen fluctuated greatly: to-day able to sit up in an easy-chair; to-morrow too exhausted to be lifted out of bed.Johnny Ludlow, Fourth Series | Mrs. Henry Wood
The wind-velocity fluctuated between sixty and eighty miles per hour, keeping us securely penned.The Home of the Blizzard | Douglas Mawson
I was sometimes irresolute, and fluctuated from one idea to another, and from project to project.The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete | Jean Jacques Rousseau
Then, after a considerable period, during which the advantages fluctuated, they obtained a rooge.Dr. Jolliffe's Boys | Lewis Hough
British Dictionary definitions for fluctuate
to change or cause to change position constantly; be or make unstable; waver or vary
(intr) to rise and fall like a wave; undulate
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