Dictionary

vacillate

verb vac·il·late \ˈva-sə-ˌlāt\

: to repeatedly change your opinions or desires

vac·il·lat·edvac·il·lat·ing

Full Definition of VACILLATE

intransitive verb
1
a :  to sway through lack of equilibrium
b :  fluctuate, oscillate
2
:  to waver in mind, will, or feeling :  hesitate in choice of opinions or courses
vac·il·lat·ing·ly \-ˌlā-tiŋ-lē\ adverb
vac·il·la·tor \-ˌlā-tər\ noun
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Examples of VACILLATE

  1. She has vacillated on this issue.
  2. <vacillated for so long that someone else stepped in and made the decision>

Origin of VACILLATE

Latin vacillatus, past participle of vacillare to sway, waver — more at wink
First Known Use: 1597

Synonym Discussion of VACILLATE

hesitate, waver, vacillate, falter mean to show irresolution or uncertainty. hesitate implies a pause before deciding or acting or choosing <hesitated before answering the question>. waver implies hesitation after seeming to decide and so connotes weakness or a retreat <wavered in his support of the rebels>. vacillate implies prolonged hesitation from inability to reach a firm decision <vacillated until events were out of control>. falter implies a wavering or stumbling and often connotes nervousness, lack of courage, or outright fear <never once faltered during her testimony>.

Rhymes with VACILLATE

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VACILLATING Defined for Kids

vacillate

verb vac·il·late \ˈva-sə-ˌlāt\
vac·il·lat·edvac·il·lat·ing

Definition of VACILLATE for Kids

:  to hesitate between courses or opinions :  be unable to choose

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