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vacillate

[ vas-uh-leyt ]
/ ˈvæs əˌleɪt /
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See synonyms for: vacillate / vacillates / vacillating on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), vac·il·lat·ed, vac·il·lat·ing.

to waver in mind or opinion; be indecisive or irresolute: His tendency to vacillate makes him a poor leader.
to sway unsteadily; waver; totter; stagger.
to oscillate or fluctuate.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “THEIR,” “THERE,” AND “THEY’RE”

Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
Question 1 of 7
Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?

Origin of vacillate

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Latin vacillātus (past participle of vacillāre “to sway to and fro”); see -ate1

synonym study for vacillate

1. See waver1.

OTHER WORDS FROM vacillate

vac·il·la·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for vacillate

British Dictionary definitions for vacillate

vacillate
/ (ˈvæsɪˌleɪt) /

verb (intr)

to fluctuate in one's opinions; be indecisive
to sway from side to side physically; totter or waver

Derived forms of vacillate

vacillation, nounvacillator, noun

Word Origin for vacillate

C16: from Latin vacillāre to sway, of obscure origin
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
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