from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Characterized by erratic changeableness or instability, especially with regard to affections or attachments; capricious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Quick to change one’s opinion or allegiance; insincere; not loyal or reliable.
  • v. To deceive; flatter.
  • v. To puzzle; perplex; nonplus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not fixed or firm; liable to change; unstable; of a changeable mind; not firm in opinion or purpose; inconstant; capricious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Disposed or acting so as to deceive; deceitful; treacherous; false in intent.
  • Inconstant; unstable; likely to change from caprice, irresolution, or instability: rarely applied to things except in poetry or by personification.
  • Perilous; ticklish.
  • Synonyms Variable, mutable, changeable, unsteady, unsettled, vacillating, fitful, volatile.
  • To deceive; flatter.
  • To puzzle; perplex; nonplus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. liable to sudden unpredictable change
  • adj. marked by erratic changeableness in affections or attachments


Middle English fikel, from Old English ficol, deceitful.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English fikil, fikil, from Old English ficol ("fickle, cunning, tricky , deceitful"), equivalent to fike +‎ -le. More at fike. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English fikelen, from fikel ("fickle"); see above. Cognate with Low German fikkelen ("to deceive, flatter"), German ficklen, ficheln ("to deceive, flatter"). (Wiktionary)


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