View synonyms for oscillate


[ os-uh-leyt ]

verb (used without object)

, os·cil·lat·ed, os·cil·lat·ing.
  1. to swing or move to and fro, as a pendulum does.
  2. to vary or vacillate between differing beliefs, opinions, conditions, etc.:

    He oscillates regularly between elation and despair.

    Synonyms: waver, fluctuate

  3. Physics. to have, produce, or generate oscillations.
  4. Mathematics. (of a function, sequence, etc.) to tend to no limit, including infinity:

    The sequence 0, 1, 0, 1, … oscillates.

verb (used with object)

, os·cil·lat·ed, os·cil·lat·ing.
  1. to cause to move to and fro; vibrate.


/ ˈɒsɪˌleɪt /


  1. intr to move or swing from side to side regularly
  2. intr to waver between opinions, courses of action, etc
  3. physics to undergo or produce or cause to undergo or produce oscillation

Discover More

Other Words From

  • inter·oscil·late verb interoscillated interoscillating
  • un·oscil·lating adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of oscillate1

1720–30; < Latin oscillātus (past participle of oscillāre “to swing, ride on a swing”), equivalent to oscill(um) “a swing” + -ātus -ate 1

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of oscillate1

C18: from Latin oscillāre to swing, from oscillum a swing

Discover More

Synonym Study

See swing 1.

Discover More

Example Sentences

“After a catch-up effect in these months, we expect retail sales to oscillate around current levels in coming months before embarking again on a gradual uptrend,” Berenberg said.

From Fortune

These cyclical wobbles, called Milankovitch cycles, cause the amount of sunlight to vary at middle latitudes by up to 25% and cause the climate to oscillate.

Her blood pressure began to oscillate — too low, too high — leaving her lightheaded and nauseous.

In the end, bubbles in the standing wave oscillate more than do those in a normal wave.

The water oscillates, moving back and forth, creating crests and troughs.

Americans oscillate in their opinions of women involved in affairs, seeing them either as villains or victims.

In this position he stood for some moments, apparently watching the tail, which still continued to oscillate rapidly.

He operated on the tiny radio with his pocket-knife to establish a circuit which should oscillate when the battery was turned on.

In other words, it is necessary to be able to adjust the rate at which the currents will oscillate between the antenna and earth.

It does not oscillate (or pump), though extremely sensitive.

These, according to Mr. Darwin, oscillate till they touch an object, and then embrace it.


Word of the Day


[ak-suh-lot-l ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.




Osceolaoscillating circuit