[fluhk-choo-ey-shuh n]


continual change from one point or condition to another.
wavelike motion; undulation.
Genetics. a body variation due to environmental factors and not inherited.

Origin of fluctuation

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin fluctuātiōn- (stem of fluctuātiō) a fluctuation, wavering. See fluctuate, -ion
Related formsnon·fluc·tu·a·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for fluctuation

variation, change, inconstancy

Examples from the Web for fluctuation

Contemporary Examples of fluctuation

Historical Examples of fluctuation

  • Two countries, at least, are concerned in the fluctuation of every rate.

  • These are the main influences bearing on the fluctuation of exchange.

  • The solidity was all in the superstructure; the fluctuation had been all in the foundations.

  • The price of cauliflowers is less subject to fluctuation than that of most other vegetables.

    The Cauliflower

    A. A. Crozier

  • Prices fluctuate, and their fluctuation is apt to be deceptive.

    The Book-Collector

    William Carew Hazlitt

British Dictionary definitions for fluctuation



constant change; vacillation; instability
a variation in an animal or plant that is determined by environment rather than heredity
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

Word Origin and History for fluctuation

mid-15c., from Middle French fluctuation (12c.) or directly from Latin fluctuationem (nominative fluctuatio) "a wavering, vacillation," noun of action from past participle stem of fluctuare "to undulate, to move in waves," from fluctus "wave, billow, surge," from past participle of fluere "to flow" (see fluent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper