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Synonym Chooser

How does the verb waver differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of waver are falter, hesitate, and vacillate. While all these words mean "to show irresolution or uncertainty," waver implies hesitation after seeming to decide and so connotes weakness or a retreat.

wavered in his support of the rebels

Where would falter be a reasonable alternative to waver?

While the synonyms falter and waver are close in meaning, falter implies a wavering or stumbling and often connotes nervousness, lack of courage, or outright fear.

never once faltered during her testimony

When could hesitate be used to replace waver?

The words hesitate and waver are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, hesitate implies a pause before deciding or acting or choosing.

hesitated before answering the question

When would vacillate be a good substitute for waver?

The synonyms vacillate and waver are sometimes interchangeable, but vacillate implies prolonged hesitation from inability to reach a firm decision.

vacillated until events were out of control

Thesaurus Entries Near waver

Cite this Entry

“Waver.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/waver. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

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