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[os-uh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈɒs ə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
characterized by or involving oscillation.
Origin of oscillatory
1730-40; < New Latin oscillātōrius, equivalent to Latin oscillā(re) to swing (see oscillate) + -tōrius -tory1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for oscillatory
Historical Examples
  • That oscillatory motion by which the waves rock a ship from side to side.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • A lightning flash has been shown by photographs and by other means to be oscillatory.

    Physics Willis Eugene Tower
  • Radiant energy is characterized as an oscillatory or wave-like process.

    Natural Philosophy Wilhelm Ostwald
  • The oscillatory motion was imparted to this by one tentacle of the handling-machine.

    The War of the Worlds H. G. Wells
  • oscillatory, like a to and fro movement, the swaying branches of trees, or the swinging of a pendulum.

    Motors James Slough Zerbe
  • Thomson suggested that double, triple and quadruple flashes of lightning might be successive flashes of an oscillatory discharge.

    Lord Kelvin Andrew Gray
  • The mode of composition of the sections on cycloidal (oscillatory) motion gives some idea of Thomson's method of working.

    Lord Kelvin Andrew Gray
  • He lifted the crucible, shook it for a moment with an oscillatory motion, then replaced it on the fire.

    Blue Goose Frank Lewis Nason
  • The oscillatory displacement of the front of the church did not at most seem to cover more than a hand-breadth, but it was enough.

    A Rough Shaking George MacDonald
  • This oscillatory movement has not the fiery precipitation of that of the Cantharides; it is calmer and as it were rhythmical.

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