- to swing or move to and fro, as a pendulum does.
- to vary or vacillate between differing beliefs, opinions, conditions, etc.: He oscillates regularly between elation and despair.
- Physics. to have, produce, or generate oscillations.
- Mathematics. (of a function, sequence, etc.) to tend to no limit, including infinity: The sequence 0, 1, 0, 1, … oscillates.
- to cause to move to and fro; vibrate.
Origin of oscillate
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for oscillate
Americans oscillate in their opinions of women involved in affairs, seeing them either as villains or victims.Broadway Cheers for Cheating
April 25, 2010
I expected to see it grip the wretched Bob, when it began to oscillate from side to side.The Lock And Key Library
The weight will oscillate at a uniform rate, or so many times a minute.Historic Inventions
Rupert S. Holland
Anyhow, I know I must oscillate between north and south, so oscillate I do.Aaron's Rod
D. H. Lawrence
That is to say, the body must oscillate from side to side, or waddle.Homo-culture
Martin Luther Holbrook
It does not oscillate (or pump), though extremely sensitive.A Treatise on Meteorological Instruments
- (intr) to move or swing from side to side regularly
- (intr) to waver between opinions, courses of action, etc
- physics to undergo or produce or cause to undergo or produce oscillation
Word Origin and History for oscillate
1726, back-formation from oscillation, or else from Latin oscillatus, past participle of oscillare (see oscillation). From 1917 in electronics. Related: Oscillated; oscillating.
- To swing back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm.
- To vary between alternate extremes, usually within a definable period of time.