[ os-uh-ley-shuhn ]
/ ˌɒs əˈleɪ ʃən /


an act or instance of oscillating.
a single swing or movement in one direction of an oscillating body.
fluctuation between beliefs, opinions, conditions, etc.
  1. an effect expressible as a quantity that repeatedly and regularly fluctuates above and below some mean value, as the pressure of a sound wave or the voltage of an alternating current.
  2. a single fluctuation between maximum and minimum values in such an effect.
  1. the difference between the least upper bound and the greatest lower bound of the functional values of a function in a given interval.
  2. Also called saltus. the limit of the oscillation in an interval containing a given point, as the length of the interval approaches zero.



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Origin of oscillation

1650–60; <Latin oscillātiōn- (stem of oscillātiō) a swinging, equivalent to oscillāt(us) (see oscillate) + -iōn--ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for oscillation

British Dictionary definitions for oscillation

/ (ˌɒsɪˈleɪʃən) /


physics statistics
  1. regular fluctuation in value, position, or state about a mean value, such as the variation in an alternating current or the regular swinging of a pendulum
  2. a single cycle of such a fluctuation
the act or process of oscillating

Derived forms of oscillation

oscillatory (ˈɒsɪlətərɪ, -trɪ), 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

Medical definitions for oscillation

[ ŏs′ə-lāshən ]


The act of oscillating.
The state of being oscillated.
A single oscillatory cycle.
A stage in inflammation in which the accumulation of white blood cells in the small vessels arrests the passage of blood, thus causing a to-and-fro movement of the blood at each cardiac contraction.

Other words from oscillation

os′cil•lation•al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for oscillation

[ ŏs′ə-lāshən ]

A repeating fluctuation in a physical object or quantity. See also attractor harmonic motion.
A single cycle of such fluctuation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.