fluctuation

[ fluhk-choo-ey-shuhn ]
/ ˌflʌk tʃuˈeɪ ʃən /

noun

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

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Origin of fluctuation

1400–50; late Middle English <Latin fluctuātiōn- (stem of fluctuātiō) a fluctuation, wavering. See fluctuate, -ion

OTHER WORDS FROM fluctuation

non·fluc·tu·a·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does fluctuation mean?

Fluctuation is continual change.

It’s a noun form of the verb fluctuate, meaning to continually change or shift back and forth.

Fluctuation 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.

Example: The fluctuation of the volume on my TV is really annoying—it gets louder during commercials and then it gets quiet again when the show comes back on.

Where does fluctuation come from?

The first records of the word fluctuation come from the 1400s. It ultimately 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 in a state of fluctuation. Still, fluctuation 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. In deserts, there is often an extreme but regular fluctuation in temperature between the day, when it’s very hot, and the night, when it can get very cold. But the fluctuation of a person’s mood—between happy and grumpy, for example—might happen much more unpredictably.

Things known for their fluctuation can be said to be in a state of flux—continuous change. (The word flux comes from the same root as fluctuation).

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What are some other forms related to fluctuation?

What are some synonyms for fluctuation?

What are some words that share a root or word element with fluctuation

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

How is fluctuation used in real life?

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

 

 

Try using fluctuation!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym for fluctuation

A. variation
B. vacillation
C. persistence
D. oscillation

Example sentences from the Web for fluctuation

British Dictionary definitions for fluctuation

fluctuation
/ (ˌflʌktjʊˈeɪʃən) /

noun

constant change; vacillation; instability
undulation
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