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vacillating

[vas-uh-ley-ting] /ˈvæs əˌleɪ tɪŋ/
adjective
1.
not resolute; wavering; indecisive; hesitating:
an ineffectual, vacillating person.
2.
oscillating; swaying; fluctuating:
a vacillating indicator.
Also, vacillant.
Origin
1805-1815
1805-15; vacillate + -ing2
Related forms
vacillatingly, adverb
nonvacillating, adjective
unvacillating, adjective
Synonyms
1. See fickle.

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; < 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 vacillating
  • No wonder some voters think he's a vacillating wimp.
  • From the sound of your post, though, you are vacillating.
  • He appears inconsistent and contradictory, as though he is vacillating and indecisive.
  • But he has come under new pressure from critics who are calling him weak and vacillating.
  • The other characters live in a state of anxious idleness, vacillating between depression and seething, impotent anger.
  • Now it is the recipients who are vacillating about accepting it.
  • With such omni-vacillating unstable genetic chaos isn't it extraordinary that evolution can happen at all.
  • Instead you're vacillating between being impressed and depressed with the oppositions effective spin.
  • He used grids, built color in layers or by juxtaposition, and created vacillating surfaces out of thousands of individual marks.
  • Even remedies of a right tendency have become discredited because of the failure of a timid and vacillating application of them.
British Dictionary definitions for vacillating

vacillating

/ˈvæsɪˌleɪtɪŋ/
adjective
1.
inclined to waver; indecisive
Derived Forms
vacillatingly, adverb

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 vacillating

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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