Oscillate Os"cil*late ([o^]s"s[i^]l*l[=a]t), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Oscillated} ([o^]s"s[i^]l*l[=a]`t[e^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Oscillating} ([o^]s"s[i^]l*l[=a]`t[i^]ng).] [L. oscillare to swing, fr. oscillum a swing, a little mask or puppet made to be hung from trees and swing in the wind, prob. orig., a little mouth, a dim. from os mouth. See {Oral}, and cf. {Osculate}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To move backward and forward; to vibrate like a pendulum; to swing; to sway. [1913 Webster]

2. To vary or fluctuate between fixed limits; to act or move in a fickle or fluctuating manner; to change repeatedly, back and forth. [1913 Webster]

The amount of superior families oscillates rather than changes, that is, it fluctuates within fixed limits. --De Quincey. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • oscillate — os‧cil‧late [ˈɒsleɪt ǁ ˈɑː ] verb [intransitive] to move regularly between two limits or states: • The trade balance used to oscillate between surplus and deficit. oscillation noun [countable, uncountable] * * * oscillate UK US /ˈɒsɪleɪt/ verb… …   Financial and business terms

  • oscillate — [äs′ə lāt΄] vi. oscillated, oscillating [< L oscillatus, pp. of oscillare, to swing < oscillum, a swing] 1. to swing or move regularly back and forth 2. to be indecisive in purpose or opinion; vacillate 3. Physics to vary regularly between… …   English World dictionary

  • oscillate — I verb agitari, agitate, alternate, be doubtful, be indecisive, be irresolute, be uncertain, be undecided, be undetermined, be unresolved, be unsteady, be unsure, beat, bounce, debate, deliberate, falter, flap, fluctuate, flutter, fret, hesitate …   Law dictionary

  • oscillate — 1726, from L. oscillat , pp. stem of oscillare (see OSCILLATION (Cf. oscillation)). 1917 in electronics. Related: Oscillated; oscillating …   Etymology dictionary

  • oscillate — *swing, sway, vibrate, fluctuate, pendulate, waver, undulate Analogous words: vacillate, waver, *hesitate, falter: *shake, tremble, quiver, quaver …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • oscillate — [v] change back and forth be unsteady, dangle, fishtail, flicker, fluctuate, librate, lurch, palpitate, pendulate, pitch, pivot, reel, ripple, rock, roll, seesaw, stagger, sway, swing, switch, swivel, teeter, teeter totter*, thrash, toss, totter …   New thesaurus

  • oscillate — ► VERB 1) move or swing back and forth at a regular rate. 2) waver between extremes of opinion or emotion. DERIVATIVES oscillation noun oscillator noun oscillatory adjective. ORIGIN Latin oscillare to swing …   English terms dictionary

  • oscillate — os|cil|late [ˈɔsıleıt US ˈa: ] v [Date: 1700 1800; : Latin; Origin: , past participle of oscillare [i] to swing , from oscillum swing ] 1.) formal to keep changing between two extreme amounts or limits ▪ The stock market is oscillating wildly at… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • oscillate — UK [ˈɒsɪleɪt] / US [ˈɑsɪˌleɪt] verb [intransitive] Word forms oscillate : present tense I/you/we/they oscillate he/she/it oscillates present participle oscillating past tense oscillated past participle oscillated 1) a) physics to move… …   English dictionary

  • oscillate — v. (D; intr.) to oscillate between * * * [ ɒsɪleɪt] (D; intr.) to oscillate between …   Combinatory dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”