- 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.
waver definition by Webster's New World
- 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: Middle English waveren, frequentative of waven, to wave
waver definition by American Heritage Dictionary
intransitive verb wa·vered, wa·ver·ing, wa·vers
- To move unsteadily back and forth. See Synonyms at swing.
- a. To exhibit irresolution or indecision; vacillate: wavered over buying a house. See Synonyms at hesitate.b. To become unsteady or unsure; falter: His resolve began to waver.
- To tremble or quaver in sound, as of the voice or a musical note.
- To flicker or glimmer, as light.
Origin: Middle English waveren; see webh- in Indo-European roots.
- waˈver·er noun
- waˈver·ing·ly adverb
Variant of wave
- 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: Middle 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: altered (based on the v.) < ME wawe, a wave