Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[fluhk-choo-eyt] /ˈflʌk tʃuˌeɪt/
verb (used without object), fluctuated, fluctuating.
to change continually; shift back and forth; vary irregularly:
The price of gold fluctuated wildly last month.
to move back and forth in waves.
verb (used with object), fluctuated, fluctuating.
to cause to fluctuate.
1625-35; < Latin fluctuātus undulated, past participle of fluctuāre to flow, equivalent to fluctu(s) a flowing (derivative of fluere to flow) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
nonfluctuating, adjective
unfluctuating, adjective
1. See waver1 . 2. oscillate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for fluctuates
  • The temperature range in which the yeast is active also fluctuates between strains.
  • The volume fluctuates but the flow of suggestions is constant.
  • And the number of posts per day fluctuates, but doesn't seem to have been rising on average over the last couple of weeks.
  • First, the yuan is only pegged to the dollar and fluctuates with the dollar against other currencies.
  • It's not entirely frozen, in fact its frozen area fluctuates seasonally.
  • Here is an organization where the volume of work fluctuates significantly with the economy.
  • Commodities are identical units of sure value-bushels of wheat, say-whose price fluctuates from time to time and place to place.
  • It fluctuates a bit from year to year, and it's gradually slowing down thanks to the braking effects of lunar tides.
  • In print, they reported that the location of the rain band fluctuates between winter and summer.
  • Their migrations may well have to do with pursuit of familiar game as the weather fluctuates between cold and warm periods.
British Dictionary definitions for fluctuates


to change or cause to change position constantly; be or make unstable; waver or vary
(intransitive) to rise and fall like a wave; undulate
Word Origin
C17: from Latin fluctuāre, from fluctus a wave, from fluere to flow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for fluctuates



1630s, from Latin fluctuatus, past participle of fluctuare "to undulate" (see fluctuation). Related: Fluctuated; fluctuates; fluctuating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
fluctuates in Medicine

fluctuate fluc·tu·ate (flŭk'chōō-āt')
v. fluc·tu·at·ed, fluc·tu·at·ing, fluc·tu·ates

  1. To vary irregularly.

  2. To rise and fall in waves; undulate.

fluc'tu·a'tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for fluctuate

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fluctuates

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for fluctuates