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[os-uh-ley-ter] /ˈɒs əˌleɪ tər/
Electronics. a circuit that produces an alternating output current of a certain frequency determined by the characteristics of the circuit components.
a device or machine producing oscillations.
a person or thing that oscillates.
Origin of oscillator
1825-35; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin oscillā(re) to swing (see oscillate) + -tor -tor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for oscillator
Historical Examples
  • First, he would need an oscillator to produce the complex pulse.

  • The oscillator, though simple in its construction, is one of the most wonderful of all electrical devices.

  • From this oscillator Doctor Tesla sends out the electrical waves with which he hopes to revolutionize industry.

  • Think of the tower of the oscillator as a tube, and of the great mushroom-shaped top of the plant as another ball.

  • Cupid tossed his curls in the direction of the moving staircase, which in Toyland was known as the "oscillator."

    Winnie Childs C. N. Williamson
  • Then the moment we start the oscillator we have the same effect in both circuits.

  • This is to prevent the oscillator from exciting lateral rf resonances.

    LRL Accelerators Lawrence Radiation Laboratory
  • This was in 1894, and the combination of oscillator and coherer actually formed the first real wireless set.

    Historic Inventions Rupert S. Holland
  • This device is used to control the variations of the oscillating currents that are set up by the oscillator tube.

    The Radio Amateur's Hand Book A. Frederick Collins
  • This transformer will supply current for one or two 50-watt oscillator tubes and it costs about $40.00.

    The Radio Amateur's Hand Book A. Frederick Collins
British Dictionary definitions for oscillator


a circuit or instrument for producing an alternating current or voltage of a required frequency
any instrument for producing oscillations
a person or thing that oscillates
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for oscillator

agent noun in Latin form from oscillate; 1835 of persons, 1889 in reference to electric currents.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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