• WordNet 3.6
    • v fluctuate be unstable "The stock market fluctuates"
    • v fluctuate move or sway in a rising and falling or wavelike pattern "the line on the monitor vacillated"
    • v fluctuate cause to fluctuate or move in a wavelike pattern
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. t Fluctuate To cause to move as a wave; to put in motion. "And fluctuate all the still perfume."
    • Fluctuate To move as a wave; to roll hither and thither; to wave; to float backward and forward, as on waves; as, a fluctuating field of air.
    • Fluctuate To move now in one direction and now in another; to be wavering or unsteady; to be irresolute or undetermined; to vacillate.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • fluctuate To have a wave-like motion; rise and fall in level or degree; undulate; waver.
    • fluctuate To move or pass backward and forward as if on waves; be wavering or unsteady; rise and fall; change about: as, public opinion often fluctuates; the funds or the prices of stocks fluctuate.
    • fluctuate Synonyms Fluctuate, Vacillate, Waver, Oscillate, Undulate, apply to literal or figurative movements to and fro, or up and down; but undulate is used only physically, as of the sea, sound-waves, etc. Fluctuate, waver, and undulate in their figurative uses are founded upon the rise and fall of waves; oscillate refers to the swinging of a pendulum. Vacillate, and next to it waver, suggests the most of mental or moral indecision. Oscillate naturally suggests the most regular alternations of movement to and fro. Vacillate and waver are now rarely used of physical things; waver is also used of a hesitation that seems likely to end in yielding.
    • fluctuate To put into a state of fluctuating or wave-like motion.
    • fluctuate To cause to waver or be undecided.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Fluctuate fluk′tū-āt to float backward and forward: to roll hither and thither: to be irresolute
    • v.t Fluctuate to cause to move hither and thither
    • ***


  • Margaret J. Wheatley
    Margaret J. Wheatley
    “The things we fear most in organizations -- fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances -- are the primary sources of creativity.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. fluctuatus, p. p. of fluctuare, to wave, fr. fluctus, wave, fr. fluere, fluctum, to flow. See Fluent, and cf. Flotilla


In literature:

The men drew away, and a sharp whispering fluctuated out of the darkness.
"The Three Black Pennys" by Joseph Hergesheimer
On the whole, we may say that the time fluctuates between 180 and 420, the mistakes between 4 and 28.
"Psychology and Industrial Efficiency" by Hugo Münsterberg
The visible supply fluctuated somewhat.
"Heart's Desire" by Emerson Hough
Business at once set in, and, with slight fluctuations, has continued ever since brisk and healthful.
"The Inner Sisterhood" by Douglass Sherley et al.
I shall now proceed to trace the fluctuations in the consumption of coffee.
"The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom" by P. L. Simmonds
Employment, fluctuation in, affects wages, 16.
"Women Wage-Earners" by Helen Campbell
The chief drawback is in the fluctuations of the market price.
"A Review of the Resources and Industries of the State of Washington, 1909" by Ithamar Howell
In Prussia, owing partly to wars, the fluctuations have been violent.
"Outspoken Essays" by William Ralph Inge
The boundary fluctuates, for equilibrium of the contending forces is established rarely and for only short periods.
"Influences of Geographic Environment" by Ellen Churchill Semple
During his four years' residence in London, it was evident that his means fluctuated in some wonderful way.
"Gladys, the Reaper" by Anne Beale

In poetry:

Sometimes her mind is fluctuation,
Sometimes her soul is detestation,
Sometimes her heart is admiration—
She usurps.
"The Model Girl" by Frank Barbour Coffin
At anchor slept a heavy rounded keel
Whose moveless rudder made the senses wheel
To music dropping from the Antwerp bells
In fluctuating swells.
"Silence And Solitude" by Annie Adams Fields
Autumn! I love thy tinted looks,
Thy fading leaves, and rippling brooks,
And variegated flowers;
Thy cooling winds and wither'd grass,
Precursor of the stormy blast,
And fluctuating showers.
"Autumn" by Benjamin Cutler Clark

In news:

Perennials must survive temperature fluctuations.
Can fluctuating foreign exchange rates affect international meeting budgets.
A lot of people have been experiencing flu-like symptoms this past week, especially with the fluctuating temperatures.
And some schools received a B' in January, but later received a 'D' in May leaving many to wonder what went right and what went wrong and why there is so much fluctuation in the grades .
Fluctuations in ice melting over time in Greenland may mean that the trajectory towards a complete melt is less direct than previously thought.
With just 11 days until the 2012 Games begin, rates and occupancy have fluctuated as opening ceremonies draw closer.
With fluctuating weather, going from warm to hot, Ryan Deyounge of Worthington was able to take first place in the 20th annual Hoot Lake Triathlon.
In a year characterized by soft retail sales and fluctuating consumer confidence, the area rug business is focusing on affordable and casual synthetic styles to move goods.
Derrick Williams says he is trying to stay patient through fluctuating playing time with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
This scale measures many aspects of patient function (such as difficulty walking or breathing) that may fluctuate from day to day.
Since hormone fluctuations can play a part, it's one of the reasons migraines affect more women than men.
Gas Futures Fluctuate on Outlook for Moderating Weather.
Fuel Prices Expected to Fluctuate Over Summer.
The financial markets may fluctuate, but the way we think about currency, as well as the way we pay for our online goods and services has pretty much remained unchanged—until now.
Lessen the impact of seasonality and market fluctuations.

In science:

It also provides for a simple understanding of recently–discovered Fluctuation Theorem.
Generalized Entropy approach to far-from-equilibrium statistical mechanics
Fluctuations in the leakage for high energy pions also become large.
Studies of the Response of the Prototype CMS Hadron Calorimeter, Including Magnetic Field Effects, to Pion, Electron, and Muon Beams
PACS. 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.
Ground states versus low-temperature equilibria in random field Ising chains
Kubo, in Fluctuations Relaxation and Resonance in Magnetic Systems D. ter Haar ed.
Photon Counting Statistics for Single Molecule Spectroscopy
Pi, “Fluctuations in the New Inflationary Universe,” Phys.
On the Spectrum of Fluctuations in an Effective Field Theory of the Ekpyrotic Universe