waver

To waver is to move back and forth, like when you waver, one minute thinking you'll stay home, planning to go meet your friends the next, until you finally make your decision.

Waver comes from the Old English word wæfre, which means “restless.” When the wind blows, it makes the leaves and flowers waver, or move, in that same direction. A person who wavers is much the same — affected by any influence or change. He or she isn't sure what to do or may be too shy to express a preference until time is just about up and a decision must be made.

Primary Meanings of waver

1.
vn
pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness
the act of pausing uncertainly
2.
vn
sway to and fro
the act of moving back and forth
3.
n
someone who communicates by waving
Full Definitions of waver
1

v pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness

Synonyms:
hesitate, waffle
Types:
show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
dwell on, linger over
delay
boggle
hesitate when confronted with a problem, or when in doubt or fear
hover, linger
move to and fro
hover, oscillate, vacillate, vibrate
be undecided about something; waver between conflicting positions or courses of action
falter
be unsure or weak
shillyshally
be uncertain and vague

v move hesitatingly, as if about to give way

Synonyms:
falter
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v be unsure or weak

Synonyms:
falter
Type of:
hesitate, waffle
pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness

v give off unsteady sounds, alternating in amplitude or frequency

Synonyms:
quaver
Type of:
sound, vocalise, vocalize, voice
utter with vibrating vocal chords

n the act of pausing uncertainly

Synonyms:
falter, faltering, hesitation
Type of:
pause
temporary inactivity
2

v sway to and fro

Synonyms:
weave
Type of:
sway, swing
move or walk in a swinging or swaying manner

v move back and forth very rapidly

Synonyms:
flicker, flitter, flutter, quiver
Type of:
move back and forth
move in one direction and then into the opposite direction

v move or sway in a rising and falling or wavelike pattern

Synonyms:
fluctuate, vacillate
fluctuate
cause to fluctuate or move in a wavelike pattern
Type of:
swing
alternate dramatically between high and low values

n the act of moving back and forth

Synonyms:
flicker, flutter
Type of:
motility, motion, move, movement
a change of position that does not entail a change of location
3

n someone who communicates by waving

Type of:
communicator
a person who communicates with others

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.