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vacillate

[vas-uh-leyt] /ˈvæs əˌleɪt/
verb (used without object), vacillated, vacillating.
1.
to waver in mind or opinion; be indecisive or irresolute:
His tendency to vacillate makes him a poor leader.
2.
to sway unsteadily; waver; totter; stagger.
3.
to oscillate or fluctuate.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Latin vacillātus (past participle of vacillāre to sway to and fro); see -ate1
Related forms
vacillator, noun
Synonyms
1. hesitate. See waver1 . 2. reel.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for vacillated
  • His swing remained consistent even as the weather vacillated between misty rain, partial sunshine and overcast gloom.
  • Then they settled down and vacillated from one extreme to the other.
  • Historically, the number of sites represented in federal, state and local agency monitoring programs has vacillated.
  • Federal policy towards tribal governments has vacillated between two extremes.
British Dictionary definitions for vacillated

vacillate

/ˈvæsɪˌleɪt/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to fluctuate in one's opinions; be indecisive
2.
to sway from side to side physically; totter or waver
Derived Forms
vacillation, noun
vacillator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin vacillāre to sway, of obscure origin
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 vacillated

vacillate

v.

1590s, "to sway unsteadily," from Latin vacillatum, from vacillare (see vacillation). Meaning "to waver between two opinions or courses" is recorded from 1620s. Related: Vacillated; vacillates; vacillating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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