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[vahy-brey-shuh n] /vaɪˈbreɪ ʃən/
the act of vibrating.
the state of being vibrated.
  1. the oscillating, reciprocating, or other periodic motion of a rigid or elastic body or medium forced from a position or state of equilibrium.
  2. the analogous motion of the particles of a mass of air or the like, whose state of equilibrium has been disturbed, as in transmitting sound.
an instance of vibratory motion; oscillation; quiver; tremor.
a supernatural emanation, bearing good or ill, that is sensed by or revealed to those attuned to the occult.
Often, vibrations. Informal. a general emotional feeling one has from another person or a place, situation, etc.:
I usually get good vibrations from him.
Origin of vibration
1645-55; 1965-70 for def 6; < Latin vibrātiōn- (stem of vibrātiō). See vibrate, -ion
Related forms
vibrational, adjective
vibrationless, adjective
nonvibration, noun
revibration, noun
unvibrational, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vibrations
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All through the remainder of the meal I could feel the vibrations of his excitement.

  • I lost my wits in the confusion; I should have instantly taken off my vibrations.

  • The pad is to keep the vibrations of the alarm from making the plate vibrate.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • So, to be accurate, we should say that sound is vibrations of any kind of matter.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • And the vibrations travel better in most other kinds of matter than they do in air.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
British Dictionary definitions for vibrations


plural noun (slang)
instinctive feelings supposedly influencing human communication
a characteristic atmosphere felt to be emanating from places or objects
Often shortened to vibes


the act or an instance of vibrating
  1. a periodic motion about an equilibrium position, such as the regular displacement of air in the propagation of sound
  2. a single cycle of such a motion
the process or state of vibrating or being vibrated
Derived Forms
vibrational, adjective
vibrationless, adjective
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 vibrations



1650s, from Latin vibrationem (nominative vibratio), from vibratus (see vibrate). Meaning "intuitive signal about a person or thing" was popular late 1960s, but has been recorded as far back as 1899.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vibrations in Science
A rapid oscillation of a particle, particles, or elastic solid or surface, back and forth across a central position.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for vibrations

vibes 2


What emanates from or inheres in a person, situation, place, etc, and is sensed; chemistry, Karma: The vibes were good that morning for our reunion (1967+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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