[ fluhk-choo-eyt ]
See synonyms for: fluctuatefluctuatedfluctuating on Thesaurus.com

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.

verb (used with object),fluc·tu·at·ed, fluc·tu·at·ing.
  1. to cause to fluctuate.

Origin of fluctuate

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-ate1

synonym study For fluctuate

1. See waver1.

Other words for fluctuate

Other words from 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. 2024

How to use fluctuate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for 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

Origin of fluctuate

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

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