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illustration Oscillate



Part of speech: verb

Origin: Latin, early 18th century


Move or swing back and forth at a regular speed.


(Physics) Vary in magnitude or position in a regular manner around a central point.

Examples of Oscillate in a sentence

"I could oscillate on the porch swing all day long."

"The light made the electrons in each atom oscillate back and forth."

About Oscillate

As a verb, "to oscillate" means "to move back and forth like a pendulum." If you're a physicist, you can use it to describe atoms or voltage varying around a central point. And if you're feeling flighty, your emotions might oscillate throughout the day.

Did you Know?

Your old tabletop fan can be traced back to German American inventor Philip Diehl, who invented the electric ceiling fan when he worked for the Singer Company. He took a motor from a sewing machine and mounted it to the ceiling with blades. After several iterations, the oscillating fan was born. The first electric fan for household use was introduced by Westinghouse in 1910.

illustration Oscillate

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