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intr.v. vac·il·lat·ed, vac·il·lat·ing, vac·il·lates
1. To be unable to choose between different courses of action or opinions; waver: She vacillated about whether to leave.
2. To change between one state and another; fluctuate: The weather vacillated between sunny and rainy.
3. Archaic To sway from one side to the other.

[Latin vacillāre, vacillāt-, to waver.]

vac′il·lat′ing·ly adv.
vac′il·la′tion n.
vac′il·la′tor n.


(ˈvæsɪˌleɪtɪŋ) or rarely


inclined to waver; indecisive
ˈvacilˌlatingly adv


(ˈvæs əˌleɪ tɪŋ)

1. not resolute; wavering; indecisive.
2. oscillating; fluctuating.
vac′il•lat`ing•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.vacillating - uncertain in purpose or actionvacillating - uncertain in purpose or action  
irresolute - uncertain how to act or proceed; "the committee was timid and mediocre and irresolute"


adjective indecisive, irresolute, hesitant, uncertain, faltering, wavering, unresolved, oscillating, in two minds (informal), shillyshallying (informal) He has proved weak, indecisive and vacillating.


[ˈvæsɪleɪtɪŋ] ADJvacilante, irresoluto



a. vacilante, oscilante, fluctuante.
References in classic literature ?
Very well; I hope you feel the content you express: at any rate, your good sense will tell you that it is too soon yet to yield to the vacillating fears of Lot's wife.
Oh, it must have been the young man, certainly, for he was strong and industrious, while the abbe was aged and weak; besides, his mind was too vacillating to allow him to carry out an idea.
unutterable wo--yes, inexorable girl, your vacillating 'yes' has rendered me the impersonation of that oppressive sentiment, of which your beauty and excellence have become the mocking reality.
He would not be vacillating again--he WOULD do what he had meant to do, this time.
God knows I am not by nature vindictive; I would not hurt a man because I can no longer trust or like him; but neither my reason nor feelings are of the vacillating order--they are not of that sand-like sort where impressions, if soon made, are as soon effaced.
But, under the real circumstances of the case, if we are to suppose gold the motive of this outrage, we must also imagine the perpetrator so vacillating an idiot as to have abandoned his gold and his motive together.
The sheriff heard these opinions with great indignation; and when he completed the last arrangement for the division, by carrying with his own hands a trout of a large size, and placing it on four different piles in succession, as his vacillating ideas of justice required, gave vent to his spleen.
Her resolve, however, had been taken, and it seemed vacillating even to childishness to abandon it now, unless for graver reasons.
It was no simple girl made with a little of our earth, and dimly lighted within by the vacillating ray of a woman's soul.
In the second category Pierre reckoned himself and others like him, seeking and vacillating, who had not yet found in Freemasonry a straight and comprehensible path, but hoped to do so.
how clear it was that she would be vacillating, emotional, and when you said something to her it would make no more lasting impression than the stroke of a stick upon water.
His days were filled with morbid self-pity, which eventually engendered in his weak and vacillating mind a hatred for those who had sent him here--for the very men he had at first inwardly thanked for saving him from the ignominy of degradation.