verb (used without object), fluc·tu·at·ed, fluc·tu·at·ing.

  1. to change continually; shift back and forth; vary irregularly: The price of gold fluctuated wildly last month.
  2. to move back and forth in waves.

verb (used with object), fluc·tu·at·ed, fluc·tu·at·ing.

  1. to cause to fluctuate.


  1. to change or cause to change position constantly; be or make unstable; waver or vary
  2. (intr) to rise and fall like a wave; undulate

1630s, from Latin fluctuatus, past participle of fluctuare “to undulate” (see fluctuation). Related: Fluctuated; fluctuates; fluctuating.

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