intr.v. wa·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.
3. 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.
The action of wavering: the waver of the flashlight in the distance.
[Middle English waveren; see webh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.