- A fan that swings around and around is an example of a fan that oscillates.
- When you go from delighted about an idea to angry about the idea and back again, this is an example of a time when you oscillate.
- to swing or move regularly back and forth
- to be indecisive in purpose or opinion; vacillate
- Physics to vary regularly between maximum and minimum values, as an electric current
Origin of oscillate; from Classical Latin oscillatus, past participle of oscillare, to swing ; from oscillum, a swing
intransitive verbos·cil·lat·ed, os·cil·lat·ing, os·cil·lates
- To swing back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm.
- 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.
- Physics To vary between alternate extremes, usually within a definable period of time.
Origin of oscillateLatin ōscillāre, ōscillāt-, from ōscillum, something that swings back and forth, swing, probably from ōscillum, small mask of Bacchus, diminutive of ōs, mouth; see ōs- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present oscillates, present participle oscillating, simple past and past participle oscillated)
oscillate - Computer Definition
Vary predictably, or rhythmically, between two extremes, usually within a set period of time. An alternating current (AC) waveform, for example, oscillates between maximum and minimum electrical values, which are positive voltage (+V) and negative voltage (
To swing back and forth between the minimum and maximum values. An oscillation is one cycle, typically one complete wave in an alternating frequency.