as in to vary
to pass from one form, state, or level to another temperatures will fluctuate between the low and high 50s today

Synonyms & Similar Words


Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb fluctuate differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of fluctuate are oscillate, sway, swing, undulate, vibrate, and waver. While all these words mean "to move from one direction to its opposite," fluctuate suggests constant irregular changes of level, intensity, or value.

fluctuating interest rates

When would oscillate be a good substitute for fluctuate?

Although the words oscillate and fluctuate have much in common, oscillate stresses a usually regular alternation of direction.

an oscillating fan

Where would sway be a reasonable alternative to fluctuate?

While in some cases nearly identical to fluctuate, sway implies a slow swinging or teetering movement.

trees swaying in the breeze

When can swing be used instead of fluctuate?

The synonyms swing and fluctuate are sometimes interchangeable, but swing implies a movement of something attached at one end or one side.

the door suddenly swung open

When is it sensible to use undulate instead of fluctuate?

In some situations, the words undulate and fluctuate are roughly equivalent. However, undulate suggests a gentle wavelike motion.

an undulating sea of grass

When might vibrate be a better fit than fluctuate?

While the synonyms vibrate and fluctuate are close in meaning, vibrate suggests the rapid oscillation of an elastic body under stress or impact.

the vibrating strings of a piano

When could waver be used to replace fluctuate?

The words waver and fluctuate can be used in similar contexts, but waver stresses irregular motion suggestive of reeling or tottering.

the exhausted runner wavered before collapsing

Thesaurus Entries Near fluctuate

Cite this Entry

“Fluctuate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on fluctuate

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