a) To swing back and forth, especially if with a regular rhythm.

A pendulum oscillates slower as it gets longer.

b) To vacillate between conflicting opinions, etc.

The mood for change oscillated from day to day.

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  • oscillate — os‧cil‧late [ˈɒsleɪt ǁ ˈɑː ] verb [intransitive] to move regularly between two limits or states: • The trade balance used to oscillate between surplus and deficit. oscillation noun [countable, uncountable] * * * oscillate UK US /ˈɒsɪleɪt/ verb… …   Financial and business terms

  • oscillate — [äs′ə lāt΄] vi. oscillated, oscillating [< L oscillatus, pp. of oscillare, to swing < oscillum, a swing] 1. to swing or move regularly back and forth 2. to be indecisive in purpose or opinion; vacillate 3. Physics to vary regularly between… …   English World dictionary

  • Oscillate — Os cil*late ([o^]s s[i^]l*l[=a]t), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Oscillated} ([o^]s s[i^]l*l[=a] t[e^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Oscillating} ([o^]s s[i^]l*l[=a] t[i^]ng).] [L. oscillare to swing, fr. oscillum a swing, a little mask or puppet made to be hung… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oscillate — I verb agitari, agitate, alternate, be doubtful, be indecisive, be irresolute, be uncertain, be undecided, be undetermined, be unresolved, be unsteady, be unsure, beat, bounce, debate, deliberate, falter, flap, fluctuate, flutter, fret, hesitate …   Law dictionary

  • oscillate — 1726, from L. oscillat , pp. stem of oscillare (see OSCILLATION (Cf. oscillation)). 1917 in electronics. Related: Oscillated; oscillating …   Etymology dictionary

  • oscillate — *swing, sway, vibrate, fluctuate, pendulate, waver, undulate Analogous words: vacillate, waver, *hesitate, falter: *shake, tremble, quiver, quaver …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • oscillate — [v] change back and forth be unsteady, dangle, fishtail, flicker, fluctuate, librate, lurch, palpitate, pendulate, pitch, pivot, reel, ripple, rock, roll, seesaw, stagger, sway, swing, switch, swivel, teeter, teeter totter*, thrash, toss, totter …   New thesaurus

  • oscillate — ► VERB 1) move or swing back and forth at a regular rate. 2) waver between extremes of opinion or emotion. DERIVATIVES oscillation noun oscillator noun oscillatory adjective. ORIGIN Latin oscillare to swing …   English terms dictionary

  • oscillate — os|cil|late [ˈɔsıleıt US ˈa: ] v [Date: 1700 1800; : Latin; Origin: , past participle of oscillare [i] to swing , from oscillum swing ] 1.) formal to keep changing between two extreme amounts or limits ▪ The stock market is oscillating wildly at… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • oscillate — UK [ˈɒsɪleɪt] / US [ˈɑsɪˌleɪt] verb [intransitive] Word forms oscillate : present tense I/you/we/they oscillate he/she/it oscillates present participle oscillating past tense oscillated past participle oscillated 1) a) physics to move… …   English dictionary

  • oscillate — v. (D; intr.) to oscillate between * * * [ ɒsɪleɪt] (D; intr.) to oscillate between …   Combinatory dictionary

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