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

  • adj. Inclined to waver; irresolute.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Liable to waver; irresolute and hesitant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Inclined to vacillate; wavering; irresolute.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Inclined to vacillate; wavering; vacillating; uncertain; irresolute.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • His response to the political crisis over his spiritual advisers has been vacillatory, not conciliatory: first he stood by them, then he distanced himself from them.

    Meanwhile, Back at Trinity United

  • As to money, he had given her almost carte blanche, having at one vacillatory period of his Prime Ministership been talked by her into some agreement with her own plans.

    The Prime Minister

  • As to money, he had given her almost carte blanche, having at one vacillatory period of his

    The Prime Minister

  • -- Disgusted with Musa's vacillatory conduct, on the 22d I sent him a letter containing a bit of my mind.

    The Discovery of the Source of the Nile

  • While these vacillatory measures were going on at the viceregal palace, information was brought to the oydors, that the viceroy had drawn out his troops in the great square, with the intention of attacking them.

    A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels - Volume 05 Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, by Sea and Land, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time

  • For Lee, the 82nd Scripps National Spelling Bee began with the Round 1 written test, which included words such as asylum, congenital, vacillatory, onychorrhexis and abyss.


  • They are always "struggling to survive" and the vacillatory vagueries of the parameters of "poverty" is just one of the "demons" that they bravely fight.

    Capitol Hill Coffee House

  • Dylan made it through rounds one and two, surviving some difficult words for a boy his age, including: civitas, vacillatory, onychorrhexis and quomodo, to name just a few.


  • But, of course, some of this may have to do with the problem that you can’t be extremist unless you actually have an ideology or something else to be extreme about, and the Democratic party right now is entirely without ideology, principles, direction, or any goals beyond “get re-elected”… so a bland, noncommital, vacillatory candidate may be about as close to the idea of a Democrat extremist as one can get.

    Argento v. Coulter - The Panda's Thumb

  • "Why, my course here in the United States," said the Old Year -- "though perhaps I ought to blush at the confession -- my political course, I must acknowledge, has been rather vacillatory, sometimes inclining toward the Whigs, then causing the administration party to shout for triumph, and now again uplifting what seemed the almost prostrate banner of the opposition; so that historians will hardly know what to make of me in this respect.

    Twice Told Tales


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