Dictionary.com

vacillate

[ vas-uh-leyt ]
/ ˈvæs əˌleɪt /
Save This Word!
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 “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!

Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of vacillate

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Latin vacillātus (past participle of vacillāre “to sway to and fro”); see -ate1
1. See waver1.
vac·il·la·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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
vacillation, nounvacillator, noun
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
Get Online Help For Kids!