AskDefine | Define vacillate

Dictionary Definition



1 be undecided about something; waver between conflicting positions or courses of action; "He oscillates between accepting the new position and retirement" [syn: hover, vibrate, oscillate]
2 move or sway in a rising and falling or wavelike pattern; "the line on the monitor vacillated" [syn: fluctuate, waver]

User Contributed Dictionary



From vacillātum, supine form of vacillō "sway, waver".


  • /ˈvæ.sə.leɪt/|/ˈvæ.sɪ.leɪt/, /"v

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

alternate, back and fill, bob, bobble, careen, change, changeable, chop and change, coggle, dally, dallying, dangle, demurring, dickey, dillydallying, dither, double-minded, doubtful, doubting, ebb and flow, eccentric, equivocate, erratic, falter, faltering, fickle, fiddle-faddle, flounder, fluctuant, fluctuate, fluctuating, flutter, go through phases, halt, halting, hang in doubt, hem and haw, hesitant, hesitate, hesitating, inconstant, indecisive, insecure, irresolute, librate, lurch, mercurial, nutate, oscillate, oscillating, pendulate, pendulous, pitch, reel, resonate, ring the changes, rock, roll, rootless, seesaw, shake, shaky, shift, shifting, shilly-shally, shilly-shallying, shuffle, stagger, stop to consider, swag, sway, swing, teeter, teeter-totter, tentative, tergiversate, think twice, timid, toss, totter, turn, uncertain, unresolved, unsettled, unstable, unsteady, unsure, vacillating, vacillatory, vary, vibrate, volatile, wag, waggle, wave, waver, wavering, wax and wane, weak, weak-kneed, whiffle, wigwag, wobble, wobbly
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