- Vibrate is defined as to move back and forth, or to tremble or shake.
An example of vibrate is for strings on a violin to bounce back and forth and give off a sound.
transitive verbvibrated, vibrating
- to give off (light or sound) by vibration
- to set in to-and-fro motion; oscillate
- to cause to quiver
Origin of vibrate; from Classical Latin vibratus, past participle of vibrare, to vibrate, shake ; from Indo-European an unverified form weib- (; from base an unverified form wei-, to turn) from source wipe
- to swing back and forth; oscillate, as a pendulum
- to move rapidly back and forth; quiver, as a plucked string
- to resound: said of sounds
- to be emotionally stirred; thrill
- to waver or vacillate, as between two choices
verbvi·brat·ed, vi·brat·ing, vi·brates
- a. To move back and forth or to and fro, especially rhythmically and rapidly: The eardrum vibrates in response to sound waves. See Synonyms at swing.b. To progress in a given direction while moving back and forth rapidly: The sound wave vibrated through the water.
- To be in a state of great activity, excitement, or agitation: “Even as the film moved &ellipsis; to the more deadly fields of Vietnam, old hatreds vibrated in me” (Loudon Wainwright).
- To produce a sound; resonate: “The noise of cars and motorcycles, voices and music vibrates from the street” (Edmundo Paz Solden).
- To fluctuate or waver, as between states or in making choices: “The fear of repetition and the lure of repetition: these are the two poles between which the movie vibrates” (Wendy Lesser).
- To cause to move back and forth rapidly: The rattlesnake vibrated its tail.
- To produce (sound) by vibration.
Origin of vibrateLatin vibrāre, vibrāt-; see weip- in Indo-European roots.
- vi′bra·tive, vi′bra·to′ry
(third-person singular simple present vibrates, present participle vibrating, simple past and past participle vibrated)
From Latin vibrātus, perfect passive participle of vibrō (“agitate, set in tremulous motion”).