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[vahy-breyt] /ˈvaɪ breɪt/
verb (used without object), vibrated, vibrating.
to move rhythmically and steadily to and fro, as a pendulum; oscillate.
to move to and fro or up and down quickly and repeatedly; quiver; tremble.
(of sounds) to produce or have a quivering or vibratory effect; resound.
to thrill, as in emotional response.
to move between alternatives or extremes; fluctuate; vacillate.
verb (used with object), vibrated, vibrating.
to cause to move rhythmically and steadily to and fro, swing, or oscillate.
to cause to move to and fro or up and down quickly and repeatedly; cause to quiver or tremble.
to give forth or emit by, or as by, vibration.
to measure or indicate by vibration or oscillation:
a pendulum vibrating seconds.
Origin of vibrate
1610-20; < Latin vibrātus (past participle of vibrāre to move to and fro); see -ate1
Related forms
vibratingly, adverb
nonvibrating, adjective
revibrate, verb, revibrated, revibrating.
unvibrated, adjective
unvibrating, adjective
2. See shake. 3. echo. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vibrate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Worst of all, his mouth was open, and his chest could be seen to vibrate as he panted.

  • At last a word struck him, and made his whole soul to vibrate.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • Its deep rumble made the whole night vibrate like a bass string.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
  • These and your tongue and lips make the air in front of you vibrate.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • If the vocal cords of your throat did not vibrate, you could not talk out loud.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • If an article is tasteless, it means that these filaments do not vibrate.

British Dictionary definitions for vibrate


to move or cause to move back and forth rapidly; shake, quiver, or throb
(intransitive) to oscillate
to send out (a sound) by vibration; resonate or cause to resonate
(intransitive) to waver
(physics) to undergo or cause to undergo an oscillatory or periodic process, as of an alternating current; oscillate
(intransitive) (rare) to respond emotionally; thrill
Derived Forms
vibratile (ˈvaɪbrəˌtaɪl) adjective
vibrating, adjective
vibratingly, adverb
vibratory, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin vibrāre
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 vibrate

1610s, from Latin vibratus, past participle of vibrare "move quickly to and fro, shake," from PIE *w(e)ib- "move quickly to and fro" (cf. Lithuanian wyburiu "to wag" (the tail), Danish vippe, Dutch wippen "to swing," Old English wipan "to wipe"). Related: Vibrated; vibrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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