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 Everything is iffy and fickle, and so much has happened. Dallas News, "A dream come true: Rangers’ Scott Heineman finally gets to play his brother Tyler in the majors," 31 July 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has instilled extra unpredictability into the already fickle Paris Fashion Week. Thomas Adamson, USA TODAY, "Amid coronavirus, Paris Fashion Week shifts to unprecedented digital-only shows," 7 July 2020 The snows, however, have become fickle, melting before the spring planting, while the glaciers have retreated far up the mountains and are melting later. National Geographic, "One way to fight climate change: Make your own glaciers.," 16 June 2020 With Oregon’s notoriously fickle spring weather adds its own twist. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "As Portland awaits Phase 1, Oregon restaurants offer advice on reopening," 15 June 2020 The baseball draft is famously more fickle than the NFL or the NBA. Dallas News, "Rangers continue history of risky second-round picks with Evan Carter’s selection," 12 June 2020 The current funding models for media have all but entirely crumbled: ad revenue has shriveled, ultra-wealthy benefactors are fickle and unreasonable, and venture capital will sell your favorite outlet for parts in the blink of an eye. Rachel Hawley, The New Republic, "Don’t Support The New York Times," 10 June 2020 The Cleveland Cavaliers spent months waiting, hoping for another chance to keep building their foundation under new head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and eventually cap a fickle 2019-20 season with positive momentum. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers using NBA’s slight as added motivation, believe playoffs are realistic expectation," 9 June 2020 As Alabama residents well know, these song lyrics are indeed true with the ever-fickle nature of the weather in the Yellowhammer State. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Alan Jackson Is Rescheduling His "Small Town Drive-In" Concerts Due to Tropical Storms Approaching Alabama," 4 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for fickle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fickle

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fickle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for fickle


How to pronounce fickle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fickle

: changing often
disapproving : changing opinions often


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fickle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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