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[fluhk-choo-ey-shuh n] /ˌflʌk tʃuˈeɪ ʃən/
continual change from one point or condition to another.
wavelike motion; undulation.
Genetics. a body variation due to environmental factors and not inherited.
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin fluctuātiōn- (stem of fluctuātiō) a fluctuation, wavering. See fluctuate, -ion
Related forms
nonfluctuation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fluctuations
  • They tolerate extreme temperature fluctuations, little water, and tricky northern exposures.
  • There are weekends on the college football schedule when flurries of upsets cause wild fluctuations in poll voting.
  • Its long summer days and equally long winter nights punctuate extreme fluctuations in temperature and weather throughout the year.
  • From fall through spring, the canyon is known for drastic fluctuations in weather conditions.
  • The deplorable financial condition of the country may be measured by the fluctuations of the price of gold.
  • The profits from oil and gas have enriched the province, but fluctuations in prices have also at times made it vulnerable.
  • Finally, no genetic syndrome can account for major fluctuations in crime rates across time and distance.
  • Most universities don't see huge fluctuations in enrollment, and thus in teaching needs.
  • It was persuaded by local demand, which is less susceptible to economic fluctuations.
  • With respect to quality, fluctuations in for-profit quality seem to mirror quality levels at public universities.
British Dictionary definitions for fluctuations


constant change; vacillation; instability
a variation in an animal or plant that is determined by environment rather than heredity
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
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Word Origin and History for fluctuations



mid-15c., from Middle French fluctuation (12c.) or directly from Latin fluctuationem (nominative fluctuatio) "a wavering, vacillation," noun of action from past participle stem of fluctuare "to undulate, to move in waves," from fluctus "wave, billow, surge," from past participle of fluere "to flow" (see fluent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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