American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To swing back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm.
- v. To waver, as between conflicting opinions or courses of action; vacillate: "The court has oscillated over the decades from more liberal to less, more conservative to less, depending upon who was president at the time of vacancies” ( Gordon J. Humphrey). See Synonyms at swing.
- v. Physics To vary between alternate extremes, usually within a definable period of time.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To swing; move backward and forward; vibrate, as a pendulum.
- Hence To vary or fluctuate; waver.
- Synonyms Vacillate, Waver, etc. See fluctuate.
- To cause to swing or move backward and forward; cause to vibrate or swing to and fro.
- v. intransitive To swing back and forth, especially if with a regular rhythm.
- v. intransitive To vacillate between conflicting opinions, etc.
- v. intransitive To vary above and below a mean value.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To move backward and forward; to vibrate like a pendulum; to swing; to sway.
- v. To vary or fluctuate between fixed limits; to act or move in a fickle or fluctuating manner; to change repeatedly, back and forth.
- v. be undecided about something; waver between conflicting positions or courses of action
- v. move or swing from side to side regularly
- From Latin oscillatus perfect passive particple of Latin oscillō ("swing"), from oscillum ("a swing"), usually identified with oscillum ("a little face or mask hung to a tree and swaying with the wind"), diminutive of os ("mouth, face"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin ōscillāre, ōscillāt-, from ōscillum, swing, probably from ōscillum, small mask of Bacchus, diminutive of ōs, mouth. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“She was, however, uneasy when she heard the strange whistling sound produced by their irregular passage through the dark night air, and when the violence of their movements made the basin oscillate, she lay down tremblingly at the bottom of her golden basin, and then carefully gathered her garments around her, lest they should come in contact with the dark man.”
“The only place to spot them is in a vacuum, where they should sometimes "oscillate" into normal photons.”
“With HFOV, the lungs are continuously inflated and "oscillate" at a very high rate (600 to”
“Print newspapers, because of their structure, catchment areas and sheer physicality, don't oscillate wildly from month to month or year to year.”
“I oscillate between shame, self forgiveness and anger with the world at large.”
“RS: We oscillate between doing narratives that are very linear, and that often traps you in a certain way, so often times, we make a story that you have to read more...”
“Not only could you control the water temperature, but also the angle of the spray, as well as making it oscillate or pulse.”
“Each solid booster begins to oscillate when burning comes to an end.”
“In both works, the blossoms oscillate with psychedelic energy.”
“In one study, physicists found that the speed of light seemed to oscillate with the time of day.”
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A complete Barron's Wordlist for GRE preparation. Your online flashcard replacement.
oscillate, repugnant, equivocate
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