Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To move back and forth or to and fro, especially rhythmically and rapidly. See Synonyms at swing.
  • intransitive v. To feel a quiver of emotion.
  • intransitive v. To shake or move with or as if with a slight quivering or trembling motion: "Even as the film moved . . . to the more deadly fields of Vietnam, old hatreds vibrated in me” ( Loudon Wainwright).
  • intransitive v. To produce a sound; resonate.
  • intransitive v. To fluctuate or waver in making choices; vacillate.
  • transitive v. To cause to tremble or quiver.
  • transitive v. To cause to move back and forth rapidly.
  • transitive v. To produce (sound) by vibration.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Move with small movements rapidly to and fro.
  • v. Resonate.
  • n. The setting, on a portable electronic device, that causes it to vibrate rather than sound any (or most) needed alarms.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To move to and fro, or from side to side, as a pendulum, an elastic rod, or a stretched string, when disturbed from its position of rest; to swing; to oscillate.
  • intransitive v. To have the constituent particles move to and fro, with alternate compression and dilation of parts, as the air, or any elastic body; to quiver.
  • intransitive v. To produce an oscillating or quivering effect of sound.
  • intransitive v. To pass from one state to another; to waver; to fluctuate.
  • transitive v. To brandish; to move to and fro; to swing.
  • transitive v. To mark or measure by moving to and fro.
  • transitive v. To affect with vibratory motion; to set in vibration.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To swing; oscillate; move one way and the other; play to and fro, as the pendulum.
  • To move in any kind of stationary motion under forces of restitution, commonly with a rapid motion.
  • To produce a vibratory or resonant effect; thrill; quiver: as, a whisper vibrates on the ear.
  • To fluctuate or waver, as between two opinions.
  • To cause to move or wave to and fro; cause to swing or oscillate; hence, to throw with a vibratory motion; hurl.
  • To affect with vibratory motion; cause to quiver: as, vibrated breath.
  • To measure or indicate by vibrating or oscillating: as, a pendulum vibrating seconds.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. move or swing from side to side regularly
  • v. shake, quiver, or throb; move back and forth rapidly, usually in an uncontrolled manner
  • v. feel sudden intense sensation or emotion
  • v. sound with resonance
  • v. be undecided about something; waver between conflicting positions or courses of action

Etymologies

Latin vibrāre, vibrāt-.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin vibrātus, perfect passive participle of vibrō ("agitate, set in tremulous motion"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I could sit and listen and hear him deep in the earth, feel his call vibrate through my body, and I was close, so close.

    Raziel

  • The technology that makes a cell phone vibrate is the same technology that provides more natural movements to prosthetic limbs.

    November 16th, 2007

  • One must laugh and weep, love, work, enjoy and suffer, in short vibrate as much as possible in all his being.

    The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

  • (I know I don't even have to mention common-sense courtesies like keeping the boom box volume at a dull roar and setting cell phones to "vibrate," hmmm?)

    Yolanda Reid Chassiakos: Summer Rules

  • For the heroine's despair comes from feeling not that she will never fall "under another influence," but, less passively (and less idiomatically), that she will never "vibrate" (as in resonate) to such an influence — in the full sense of sympathetic vibration.

    Phonemanography: Romantic to Victorian

  • And here I thought he had the phone set on "vibrate" or what one priest I know refers to as "stun" LOL

    Do You Hear What I Hear?

  • They have a "vibrate" function for a reason, and the last thing I want to hear when I'm watching the teaser trailer for Slither II is your otherwise incredibly clever and geekishly sexy ring tone.

    seanan_mcguire: Seanan's Guide to Surviving the San Diego Comic Convention, 2009 Edition.

  • One caution: Don't set it on "vibrate" or you're liable to cause an earthquake.

    Down the Cardin Path

  • Dude, they invented the "vibrate" mode on cell phones for a reason!

    Jamie Reidy: George and Jack

  • But here's one I can help with--does Fran's cell phone have a "vibrate" setting?

    Today's Update

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.