Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective fickle differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of fickle are capricious, inconstant, mercurial, and unstable. While all these words mean "lacking firmness or steadiness (as in purpose or devotion)," fickle suggests unreliability because of perverse changeability and incapacity for steadfastness.

performers discover how fickle fans can be

In what contexts can capricious take the place of fickle?

In some situations, the words capricious and fickle are roughly equivalent. However, capricious suggests motivation by sudden whim or fancy and stresses unpredictability.

an utterly capricious critic

When could inconstant be used to replace fickle?

The meanings of inconstant and fickle largely overlap; however, inconstant implies an incapacity for steadiness and an inherent tendency to change.

an inconstant friend

When is mercurial a more appropriate choice than fickle?

While the synonyms mercurial and fickle are close in meaning, mercurial implies a rapid changeability in mood.

made anxious by her boss's mercurial temperament

When might unstable be a better fit than fickle?

The synonyms unstable and fickle are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

Thesaurus Entries Near fickle

Cite this Entry

“Fickle.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/fickle. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on fickle

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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