verb wa·ver \ ˈwā-vər \

Definition of waver

wavered; wavering play \ˈwāv-riŋ, ˈwā-və-riŋ\
1 : to vacillate irresolutely between choices : fluctuate in opinion, allegiance, or direction
2 a : to weave or sway unsteadily to and fro : reel, totter
b : quiver, flicker
  • wavering flames
c : to hesitate as if about to give way : falter
3 : to give an unsteady sound : quaver


play \ˈwā-və-rər\ noun


play \ˈwāv-riŋ-lē, ˈwā-və-\ adverb

Examples of waver in a Sentence

  1. people who are still wavering between the two candidates

  2. They never wavered in their support for their leader.

  3. Despite the changes, he did not waver from his plan to retire.

  4. The kite wavered in the wind.

Origin and Etymology of waver

Middle English; akin to Old English wǣfre restless, wafian to wave with the hands — more at wave

Synonym Discussion of waver

swing, sway, oscillate, vibrate, fluctuate, waver, undulate mean to move from one direction to its opposite. swing implies a movement of something attached at one end or one side.
    • the door suddenly swung open
sway implies a slow swinging or teetering movement.
    • trees swaying in the breeze
oscillate stresses a usually regular alternation of direction.
    • an oscillating fan
vibrate suggests the rapid oscillation of an elastic body under stress or impact.
    • the vibrating strings of a piano
fluctuate suggests constant irregular changes of level, intensity, or value.
    • fluctuating interest rates
waver stresses irregular motion suggestive of reeling or tottering.
    • the exhausted runner wavered before collapsing
undulate suggests a gentle wavelike motion.
    • an undulating sea of grass
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




Definition of waver

: an act of wavering, quivering, or fluttering

First Known Use of waver




noun wav·er \ ˈwā-vər \

Definition of waver

: one that waves

First Known Use of waver


WAVER Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of waver for English Language Learners

  • : to go back and forth between choices or opinions : to be uncertain about what you think about something or someone

  • : to move back and forth in an unsteady way

  • : to become unsteady because of weakness, emotion, tiredness, etc.

WAVER Defined for Kids


verb wa·ver \ ˈwā-vər \

Definition of waver for Students

wavered; wavering
1 : to be uncertain in opinion
2 : to move unsteadily or to and fro
3 : to give an unsteady sound
  • The music of the flutes wavered
  • —Lloyd Alexander, Time Cat

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