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  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj fickle liable to sudden unpredictable change "erratic behavior","fickle weather","mercurial twists of temperament","a quicksilver character, cool and willful at one moment, utterly fragile the next"
    • adj fickle marked by erratic changeableness in affections or attachments "fickle friends","a flirt's volatile affections"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Fickle Not fixed or firm; liable to change; unstable; of a changeable mind; not firm in opinion or purpose; inconstant; capricious; as, Fortune's fickle wheel. "They know how fickle common lovers are."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • fickle Disposed or acting so as to deceive; deceitful; treacherous; false in intent.
    • fickle Inconstant; unstable; likely to change from caprice, irresolution, or instability: rarely applied to things except in poetry or by personification.
    • fickle Perilous; ticklish.
    • fickle Synonyms Variable, mutable, changeable, unsteady, unsettled, vacillating, fitful, volatile.
    • fickle To deceive; flatter.
    • fickle To puzzle; perplex; nonplus.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Fickle fik′l inconstant: changeable
    • ***


  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “We are a puny and fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases.”
  • Emily Dickinson
    “Fame is a fickle food upon a shifting plate.”
  • Charles Caleb Colton
    “Honor is unstable and seldom the same; for she feeds upon opinion, and is as fickle as her food.”
  • Niccolo Machiavelli
    “Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    “The fickleness of the women I love is only equaled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.”
  • Sir William Osler
    “What is the student but a lover courting a fickle mistress who ever eludes his grasp?”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. fikel, untrustworthy, deceitful, AS. ficol, fr. fic, gefic, fraud, deceit; cf. fācen, deceit, OS. fkn, OHG. feichan, Icel. feikn, portent. Cf. Fidget
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. ficol; gefic, fraud.


In literature:

The poets represented her as capricious, fickle, and false.
"Beacon Lights of History, Volume IV" by John Lord
Our Leman winds are fickle friends, and the wise take them while in the humor.
"The Headsman" by James Fenimore Cooper
But while the hollyhock was taking the bee's fickleness so solemnly, a rose was revenging her upon him.
"The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 1" by Rupert Hughes
But it is not summer yet, only the fickle month of May.
"A Cotswold Village" by J. Arthur Gibbs
False, fickle, treacherous, perjured slaves!
"The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction" by Various
He would ever have been too fickle, and of principles too light, to satisfy Grace's heart, or her judgment.
"Miles Wallingford" by James Fenimore Cooper
The second, the fickleness of women.
"The Booming of Acre Hill" by John Kendrick Bangs
This brings us to a time of stress when Minna began to suffer from the fickleness of some one nearer to her than fortune.
"The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 2" by Rupert Hughes
I like it better than fickleness, don't you?
"The Man From Brodney's" by George Barr McCutcheon
Fortune had proved fickle, as so often happens, and Waally got to be in the ascendant.
"The Crater" by James Fenimore Cooper
But love, inspired by such attractions as these and nothing else, is ever fickle as the wind.
"Woman: Man's Equal" by Thomas Webster
O whimsical sister of the blighting sun, and fickle mistress of old death!
"Figures of Earth" by James Branch Cabell
The rough German musician was a simple person, unstable, fickle, ready to be amused at any new plaything.
"The Torrent" by Vicente Blasco Ibañez
I know the fickleness of your disposition.
"Hindoo Tales" by Translated by P. W. Jacob
But how fickle and wavering is the mind of man, even in our greatest fury and strongest inclinations.
"The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner (1801)" by Daniel Defoe
He cursed the girl's fickleness, her coyness, her obstinacy!
"The Castle Inn" by Stanley John Weyman
This is fallible and fickle, but, though perpetually changing, it will last as long as there are weak human beings.
"The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX." by Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton
But Louis, ever fickle, was already wavering again.
"Love affairs of the Courts of Europe" by Thornton Hall
The crowd, with a crowd's fickleness, turned to other affairs.
"Tales of the Five Towns" by Arnold Bennett
We cannot feel as they; and our constancy, compared to theirs, is fickleness.
"The Testing of Diana Mallory" by Mrs. Humphry Ward

In poetry:

Fickle Summer's fled away,
Shall we see her face again?
Hearken to the weeping rain,
Never sunbeam greets the day.
"Fickle Summer" by Robert Fuller Murray
'Take my share of a fickle heart,
Mine of a paltry love:
Take it or leave it as you will,
I wash my hands thereof.'
"Maude Clare" by Christina Georgina Rossetti
Yet the sin is on us both —
Time to dance is not to woo —
Wooer light makes fickle troth —
Scorn of me recoils on you !
"The Lady's Yes." by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
But oh! if fickle and unchaste,
(Forgive a transient thought,)
Thou couldst become unkind at last,
And scorn thy present lot.
"The Doves" by William Cowper
Though we scorn the thought that fickle Fate
Has Destiny in her hand,
We all pay tribute at her gate
And bow low at her command.
"The Requirements Of The Hour" by Jared Barhite
So I turn from the street with a sadness
Creeping upward within the breast,
To think that the better purpose
Is so fickle to the test;
"Night In The Village" by Alexander Anderson

In news:

They'll point to the fickle nature of the voters and the ever-changing criteria.
Polls, like the weather, are fickle.
Cliff Taylor dodges missiles and fickle weather on the Tongariro Crossing.
Fate is fickle, no doubt about it.
While it may seem wearing perfume is a simple process of spray and walk away, fragrance is a fickle beast.
Design is fickle, primarily because it is such a subjective process.
Some sell for thousands, while most remain the plastic waste product of a fickle society.
Living on South Beach means fearing the fickle wrath of the flash-flood gods.
There's no business more fickle than show business, so there's no greater testament to the career of director William Friedkin than the simple fact that he's still going strong in his fifth decade in Hollywood.
Big uncertainty due to fickle El Nino .
As fishermen struggle to navigate marine protected areas, catch quotas, dying fisheries and fickle market forces, and consumers pine for more local fish, it's a potential breakthrough for conscious seafaring foodies.
Fickle market rewards Citi for layoffs.
Last Fall, we raved about Stila's One Step Correct, the swirly helix serum that managed to tone down the drama on our fickle skin.
The job market is a fickle environment, and when it comes to fluid power positions it's definitely no more stable.
Dutch trance institution struggles with fickle EDM public.

In science:

Whether you get on a postage stamp seems to be determined by the Fickle Finger of Fate.
Astrophysics in 2006
The figure confirms the observations made in our experiments with the Fickle Taxi task.
Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning with the MAXQ Value Function Decomposition
The paper verified experimentally that nonhierarchical execution gives improved performance in the Fickle Taxi Task (where it achieves optimal performance) and in the HDG task (where it gives a substantial improvement).
Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning with the MAXQ Value Function Decomposition