- To waver is to sway back and forth, show doubt, or to become uncertain in your opinion or planned course of action.
When you decide on one option and then start to rethink your decision and have a hard time choosing, this is an example of a situation where you waver between different options.
- to swing or sway to and fro; flutter
- to show doubt or indecision; find it hard, or be unable, to decide; vacillate
- to become unsteady; begin to give way; falter
- to tremble; quaver: said of the voice, etc.
- to vary in brightness; flicker: said of light
- to fluctuate
- to totter
Origin of waverMiddle English waveren, frequentative of waven, to wave
intransitive verbwa·vered, wa·ver·ing, wa·vers
- a. To move unsteadily back and forth: The flowers wavered in the breeze. See Synonyms at swing.b. To move in a certain direction with a swaying or unsteady motion: The child wavered along the hall. Snowflakes wavered down.
- a. To exhibit irresolution or indecision; vacillate: They wavered over buying a house.b. To become unsteady or unsure; falter: His resolve began to waver.c. To become diverted: She never wavered from her position opposing the war.
- To change or fluctuate: The weather wavered between sunny and overcast.
- a. To tremble or quaver in sound, as of the voice or a musical note.b. To flicker or glimmer: The door opened, and the light from the candle wavered.
Origin of waverMiddle English waveren; see webh- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present wavers, present participle wavering, simple past and past participle wavered)
- (intransitive) To sway back and forth; to totter or reel.
- Flowers wavered in the breeze.
- (intransitive) To flicker, glimmer, quiver, as a weak light.
- (intransitive) To fluctuate or vary, as commodity prices or a poorly sustained musical pitch.
- (intransitive) To shake or tremble, as the hands or voice.
- His voice wavered when the reporter brought up the controversial topic.
- (intransitive) To falter; become unsteady; begin to fail or give way.
- (intransitive) To be indecisive between choices; to feel or show doubt or indecision; to vacillate.
- An act of wavering, vacillating, etc.
- Someone who waves, enjoys waving, etc.
- I felt encouraged by all the enthusiastic wavers in the crowd.
- The Fourth of July brings out all the flag wavers.
- Johnny is such a little waver; everyone who passes by receives his preferred greeting.
- Someone who specializes in waving (hair treatment).
- A tool that accomplishes hair waving.
- (UK, dialect, dated) A sapling left standing in a fallen wood.
- A darkwaver; a fan of darkwave music.
From Old Norse vafra (“to flicker").
Variant of wave
intransitive verbwaved, waving
- to move up and down or back and forth in a curving or undulating motion; swing, sway, or flutter to and fro: said of flexible things free at one end: flags waving in the breeze
- to signal by moving a hand, arm, light, etc. to and fro
- to have the form of a series of curves or undulations: hair that waves naturally
Origin of waveMiddle English waven ; from Old English wafian, akin to German waben, to fluctuate ; from Indo-European an unverified form webh-, to move to and fro, probably identical with an unverified form webh-, to weave
- to cause to wave, undulate, or sway to and fro
- to swing or brandish (a weapon)
- to move or swing (something) as a signal; motion with (the hand, arms, etc.)
- to signal (something) by doing this: to wave farewell
- to signal or signify something to (someone) by doing this: he waved us on
- to give an undulating form to; make sinuous: to wave one's hair
- a ridge or swell moving along the surface of a liquid or body of water as a result of disturbance, as by wind
- an undulation or series of undulations in or on a surface, such as that caused by wind over a field of grain
- a curve or series of curves or curls, as in the hair
- an appearance of undulation, by reflection of light, on watered fabric
- a motion to and fro or up and down, such as that made by the hand in signaling
- something like a wave in action or effect; specif.,
- an upsurge or rise, as to a crest, or a progressively swelling manifestation: a crime wave, heat wave, wave of emotion, etc.
- a movement of people, etc., in groups or masses, which recedes or grows smaller before subsiding or being followed by another: a wave of immigrants
- Old Poet. water; esp., the sea or other body of water
- Physics a periodic motion or disturbance consisting of a series of many oscillations that propagate through a medium or space, as in the propagation of sound or light: the medium does not travel outward from the source with the wave but only vibrates as it passes
Origin of wavealtered (based on the v.) < ME wawe, a wave