fluc·​tu·​a·​tion | \ ˌflək-chə-ˈwā-shən How to pronounce fluctuation (audio) , -chü-ˈā- \
plural fluctuations

Definition of fluctuation

: an act or instance of fluctuating : an irregular shifting back and forth or up and down in the level, strength, or value of something Small fluctuations in prices are to be expected. Some fluctuation in real estate values is not unusual. North American species in general, having contended with blazing July days and frosty September nights as they evolved, are much more tolerant of temperature fluctuations than tropical species are.— Jonathan Franzen

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fluctuation

fluctuational \ ˌflək-​chə-​ˈwā-​shnəl How to pronounce fluctuation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , -​chü-​ˈā-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for fluctuation


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

First Known Use of fluctuation

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fluctuation

Time Traveler for fluctuation

Time Traveler

The first known use of fluctuation was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fluctuation

Cite this Entry

“Fluctuation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fluctuation. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fluctuation


fluc·​tu·​a·​tion | \ ˌflək-chə-ˈwā-shən How to pronounce fluctuation (audio) \

Medical Definition of fluctuation

1 : a motion like that of waves especially : the wavelike motion of a fluid collected in a natural or artificial cavity of the body observed by palpation or percussion
2a : a slight and nonheritable variation especially : such a variation occurring in response to environmental factors
b : recurrent and often more or less cyclic alteration (as of form, size, or color of a bodily part)

Other Words from fluctuation

fluctuate \ ˈflək-​chə-​ˌwāt How to pronounce fluctuation (audio) \ verb fluctuated; fluctuating

Comments on fluctuation

What made you want to look up fluctuation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!