fickle

adjective
fick·​le | \ ˈfi-kəl How to pronounce fickle (audio) \

Definition of fickle

: marked by lack of steadfastness, constancy, or stability : given to erratic changeableness

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Other Words from fickle

fickleness noun
fickly \ ˈfi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce fickly (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for fickle

inconstant, fickle, capricious, mercurial, unstable mean lacking firmness or steadiness (as in purpose or devotion). inconstant implies an incapacity for steadiness and an inherent tendency to change. an inconstant friend fickle suggests unreliability because of perverse changeability and incapacity for steadfastness. performers discover how fickle fans can be capricious suggests motivation by sudden whim or fancy and stresses unpredictability. an utterly capricious critic mercurial implies a rapid changeability in mood. made anxious by her boss's mercurial temperament unstable implies an incapacity for remaining in a fixed position or steady course and applies especially to a lack of emotional balance. too unstable to hold a job

Examples of fickle in a Sentence

The Weak will suck up to the Strong, for fear of losing their jobs and their money and all the fickle power they wielded only twenty-four hours ago. — Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone, 11 Nov. 2004 The corporate fan who has replaced the core fan is a fickle beast, choosy about which games he'll use his precious free time to attend. — E. M. Swift, Sports Illustrated, 15 May 2000 A failed play was a denial of what Odets was owed, for he was chasing the public no differently than did his bourgeois and nonrevolutionary contemporaries, a public as fickle as it always was and is. — Arthur Miller, Harper's, March 1999 War is like hard-drug abuse or a fickle lover, an apparently contradictory bolt of compulsion, agony and ecstasy that draws you back in the face of better judgment time and time again. — Anthony Loyd, My War Gone By, 1999 He blames poor sales on fickle consumers. a fickle friendship that was on and off over the years
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Recent Examples on the Web

This holds more true than ever in the increasingly fickle world of fast-food pop culture, when music careers can often be measured in mere months, not years. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Pink, 17 years into her solo career, bringing her 'Beautiful Trauma' and soaring show to San Diego," 22 May 2018 Even if those feelings are misguided, based on falsehoods, fickle, or fleeting, the opportunity to be counted is strongly valued and has a revered place in America. Jennifer Victor, Vox, "What good are elections, anyway?," 30 Oct. 2018 Goldman’s trading performance can be fickle, driven by whether the market was volatile that quarter and whether the right sort of securities saw the right sort of movement. Ken Sweet, The Seattle Times, "Goldman Sachs’ 2Q profit up 44 pct; CEO Blankfein to retire," 17 July 2018 But the American electorate turned fickle in the face of high unemployment and a sluggish economy, and Mr. Buchanan mounted a primary challenge to his re-election in 1992. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "George H.W. Bush, America’s 41st President and Father of 43rd, Dies," 1 Dec. 2018 The process for applying for one of these international arrest warrants is notoriously fickle, requiring a member state simply to submit a form. Kamran Bokhari, WSJ, "The Kremlin’s Interpol Power Play," 20 Nov. 2018 Thermals are fickle; some can last only a few seconds, others for hours. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Vultures Use Social Networks to Share Crucial Flight Information," 8 Nov. 2018 That would have been especially true for the Late Nasca, living under the strain of drought and a fickle climate, which had troubled the region since around 640 CE. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Mummy of paraplegic child shows how Peru’s Nasca culture treated disability," 25 Sep. 2018 Saudi Arabia has also proved to be a fickle ally in recent years. Karen Elliott House, WSJ, "Rethinking Saudi Arabia," 30 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fickle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fickle

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fickle

Middle English fikel deceitful, inconstant, from Old English ficol deceitful; akin to Old English befician to deceive, and probably to Old English fāh hostile — more at foe

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Dictionary Entries near fickle

fichu

Ficidae

ficin

fickle

fico

ficoid

Ficoideae

Statistics for fickle

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fickle

The first known use of fickle was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for fickle

fickle

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of fickle

: changing often
disapproving : changing opinions often

fickle

adjective
fick·​le | \ ˈfi-kəl How to pronounce fickle (audio) \

Kids Definition of fickle

: changing often : not reliable fickle friends fickle weather

Other Words from fickle

fickleness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on fickle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fickle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fickle

Spanish Central: Translation of fickle

Nglish: Translation of fickle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fickle for Arabic Speakers

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