- To vacillate is to waver back and forth and be unable to choose between options.
An example of vacillate is when you pick black tiles, then white tiles, then blue tiles, then black tiles and can't make up your mind.
intransitive verbvacillated, vacillating
- to sway to and fro; waver; totter; stagger
- to fluctuate or oscillate
- to waver in mind; show indecision
Origin of vacillate; from Classical Latin vacillatus, past participle of vacillare, to sway to and fro, waver ; from Indo-European an unverified form wek-, to be bent, probably ; from base an unverified form wā-, to bend apart, turn from source Classical Latin varus, bent, diverse
intransitive verbvac·il·lat·ed, vac·il·lat·ing, vac·il·lates
- To be unable to choose between different courses of action or opinions; waver: She vacillated about whether to leave.
- To change between one state and another; fluctuate: The weather vacillated between sunny and rainy.
- Archaic To sway from one side to the other.
Origin of vacillateLatin vacillāre, vacillāt-, to waver.
(third-person singular simple present vacillates, present participle vacillating, simple past and past participle vacillated)
From Latin vacillātum, supine form of vacillō (“sway, waver”).