[ fluhk-choo-eyt ]
/ ˈflʌk tʃuˌeɪt /

verb (used without object), fluc·tu·at·ed, fluc·tu·at·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·tu·at·ed, fluc·tu·at·ing.

to cause to fluctuate.

Origin of fluctuate

1625–35; < Latin fluctuātus undulated, past participle of fluctuāre to flow, equivalent to fluctu(s) a flowing (derivative of fluere to flow) + -ātus -ate1

SYNONYMS FOR fluctuate

1 See waver1.
2 oscillate.


non·fluc·tu·at·ing, adjectiveun·fluc·tu·at·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for fluctuating

British Dictionary definitions for fluctuating

/ (ˈflʌktjʊˌeɪt) /


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 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