1. The act of fluctuating. 2. A wavelike motion felt on palpating a cavity with nonrigid walls, especially one containing fluid. SYN: fluctuance.

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fluc·tu·a·tion .flək-chə-'wā-shən n
1) a motion like that of waves esp the wavelike motion of a fluid collected in a natural or artificial cavity of the body observed by palpation or percussion
2 a) a slight and nonheritable variation esp such a variation occurring in response to environmental factors
b) recurrent and often more or less cyclic alteration (as of form, size, or color of a bodily part)
fluc·tu·ate 'flək-chə-.wāt vb, -at·ed; -at·ing

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the characteristic feeling of a wave motion produced in a fluid-filled part of the body by an examiner's fingers. If fluctuation is present when a swelling is examined, this is an indication that there is fluid within it and that the swelling is not due to a solid growth.

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fluc·tu·a·tion (fluk″choo-aґshən) [L. fluctuatio] 1. a variation, as about a fixed value or mass. 2. a wavelike motion, as of a fluid in a cavity of the body after succussion.

Medical dictionary. 2011.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • fluctuation — [ flyktɥasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • XIIe; lat. fluctuatio, de fluctuare « flotter » 1 ♦ Rare Mouvement alternatif comparable à l agitation des flots. ⇒ balancement, oscillation. 2 ♦ Fig. (surtout au plur.) Variations successives en sens contraire. ⇒… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Fluctuation — Fluc tu*a tion, n. [L. fluctuatio; cf. F. fluctuation.] 1. A motion like that of waves; a moving in this and that direction; as, the fluctuations of the sea. [1913 Webster] 2. A wavering; unsteadiness; as, fluctuations of opinion; fluctuations of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fluctuation — mid 15c., from M.Fr. fluctuation (12c.) or directly from L. fluctuationem (nom. fluctuatio) a wavering, vacillation, noun of action from pp. stem of fluctuare to undulate, to move in waves, from fluctus wave, billow, surge, from pp. of fluere to… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Fluctuation — Fluctuation, lat. dtsch., das Wogen, Schwanken; fluctuiren, schwanken …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • fluctuation — index hesitation, indecision Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • fluctuation — A price or interest rate change. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * fluctuation fluc‧tu‧a‧tion [ˌflʌktʆuˈeɪʆn] noun [countable, uncountable] the movement of prices, income, rates etc as they increase and fall: • Fluctuations in profits… …   Financial and business terms

  • fluctuation — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ considerable, large, wide, wild ▪ local, minor, small ▪ rapid ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • FLUCTUATION — s. f. Balancement d un liquide. Il se dit particulièrement, en Médecine, Du mouvement d un fluide épanché dans quelque tumeur, ou dans quelque partie du corps. En touchant cette tumeur, on sent qu il y a fluctuation.   Il se dit aussi, figurément …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • FLUCTUATION — n. f. Variation, défaut de fixité, de permanence. La fluctuation des opinions, des sentiments. La fluctuation du prix des denrées, des effets publics. Il signifie aussi, en termes de Médecine, Mouvement ondulatoire que l’on communique à un… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • fluctuation — fluc|tu|a|tion [ˌflʌktʃuˈeıʃən] n [U and C] a change in a price, amount, level etc = ↑variation fluctuation in ▪ the fluctuation in interest rates ▪ Prices are subject to fluctuation …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • fluctuation — UK [ˌflʌktʃuˈeɪʃ(ə)n] / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms fluctuation : singular fluctuation plural fluctuations frequent changes in the amount, value, or level of something Even a minor fluctuation in the water temperature can affect… …   English dictionary

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