[os-uh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]


characterized by or involving oscillation.

Origin of oscillatory

1730–40; < New Latin oscillātōrius, equivalent to Latin oscillā(re) to swing (see oscillate) + -tōrius -tory1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oscillatory

Historical Examples of oscillatory

  • That oscillatory motion by which the waves rock a ship from side to side.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • A lightning flash has been shown by photographs and by other means to be oscillatory.


    Willis Eugene Tower

  • Radiant energy is characterized as an oscillatory or wave-like process.

    Natural Philosophy

    Wilhelm Ostwald

  • The oscillatory motion was imparted to this by one tentacle of the handling-machine.

  • Oscillatory, like a to and fro movement, the swaying branches of trees, or the swinging of a pendulum.


    James Slough Zerbe