vacillate

play
verb vac·il·late \ˈva-sə-ˌlāt\

Definition of vacillate

vacillated

vacillating

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to sway through lack of equilibrium b :  fluctuate, oscillate

  3. 2 :  to waver in mind, will, or feeling :  hesitate in choice of opinions or courses

vacillatingly

play \-ˌlā-tiŋ-lē\ adverb

vacillator

play \-ˌlā-tər\ noun

Examples of vacillate in a sentence

  1. She has vacillated on this issue.

  2. <vacillated for so long that someone else stepped in and made the decision>

Origin and Etymology 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>.

VACILLATE Defined for English Language Learners

vacillate

play
verb vac·il·late \ˈva-sə-ˌlāt\

Definition of vacillate for English Language Learners

  • : to repeatedly change your opinions or desires


VACILLATE Defined for Kids

vacillate

play
verb vac·il·late \ˈva-sə-ˌlāt\

Definition of vacillate for Students

vacillated

vacillating

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



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