Dictonary.netDictonary.net
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Oscillate   /ˈɑsəlˌeɪt/   Listen
Oscillate

verb
(past & past part. oscillated; pres. part. oscillating)
1.
Be undecided about something; waver between conflicting positions or courses of action.  Synonyms: hover, vacillate, vibrate.
2.
Move or swing from side to side regularly.  Synonym: vibrate.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Oscillate" Quotes from Famous Books



... is composed of very few parts, and it is very powerful on account of its having a separate steam actuating piston for each of its driving-wheels. It has great strength and resistance, owing to the fact that no pressure is exerted on the journals on which the steam cylinders oscillate, and all the pressure from the steam pistons is directly transferred to the crank-pins on the driving-wheels. The engine is perfectly balanced in any position during the stroke, and it may therefore be run at a much higher speed than the ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 324, March 18, 1882 • Various

... a clock. To gravitate is to oscillate. One pole is attracted to the other. Francis I. is attracted by Triboulet; Louis XIV. is attracted by Lebel. There exists a deep affinity between extreme elevation ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... moderate man like W. H. Draper, the attorney-general for Upper Canada in Sydenham's ministry, argued in favour of a policy almost identical. While his views tended to oscillate, now to this side, now to that, their general direction was clear. He felt that the ideal condition was one of union between the parties of Western Canada, which would "render the position of the government safer in its ...
— British Supremacy & Canadian Self-Government - 1839-1854 • J. L. Morison

... or more peaceful place to sleep in? Upon earth, houses in the town or cottages in the country feel every shock upon the surface of the globe. At sea, ships, rocked by the waves, are in perpetual movement. In the air, balloons incessantly oscillate upon the fluid strata of different densities. This projectile alone, travelling in absolute void amidst absolute silence, offered absolute repose ...
— The Moon-Voyage • Jules Verne

... pendulum. The plane of the oscillations remains fixed, but the Earth revolves beneath, from West to East. The fundamental principle of this experiment is that the plane in which any pendulum is made to oscillate remains invariable even when the point of suspension is turned. This demonstration enables us in some measure to see the Earth turning under ...
— Astronomy for Amateurs • Camille Flammarion

... some sort. There is a sense in which that is as eminently as obviously true; there is another, in which, in my judgment, it is as eminently as obviously false, and it seems to me that the hortatory, or pulpit, mind is apt to oscillate between the false and the true meanings, without being aware ...
— Lectures and Essays • Thomas Henry Huxley

... the Aether were frictionless, as has generally been supposed, the Aether could not have any motive power at all, and therefore could not transmit heat from one body to another. Professor Tyndall[10] on this point says, referring to the cooling of a red-hot ball: "The atoms of the ball oscillate in a resisting medium, which accepts their motion and transmits it on all sides with inconceivable velocity." Now in the previous quotation given in this article from the same authority, he states that the atoms are immersed ...
— Aether and Gravitation • William George Hooper

... they entered the village of Longueuil, which is situated on the south bank of the St. Lawrence, a little below Montreal. They found the river completely frozen over, the cold being intense, but the ice-bridge had only just been formed, and the surface was rough and uneven, causing the sleigh to oscillate fearfully, threatening every moment to overturn. The storm had by this time increased to a perfect hurricane, and the drifting snow was driven with intense force into the faces of both men and horses, causing the latter to bound and gallop ...
— The Mysteries of Montreal - Being Recollections of a Female Physician • Charlotte Fuhrer

... and the Sampson Agonistes are the two extremes of the arc within which the diction of dramatic poetry may oscillate. Shakspeare in his great plays is the midpoint. In the Samson Agonistes, colloquial language is left at the greatest distance, yet something of it is preserved, to render the dialogue probable: in Massinger the style is differenced, ...
— Specimens of the Table Talk of S.T.Coleridge • Coleridge

... the old New York brownstone houses and one of the fourteen-storied buildings near the river, but between this and the Times Square Building or the still more amazing Flat Iron Building, which is said to oscillate at the top—it is so far from the ground—there is very little difference. I hear that they are now beginning to build downwards into the earth, but this will not change the appearance of New York ...
— The Story of My Life - Recollections and Reflections • Ellen Terry

... upon the solid basis of a legal principle, I would endeavor to fix that mercury by a positive law. If to please an administration the judges can go one way to-day, and to please the crowd they can go another to-morrow, if they will oscillate backward and forward between power and popularity, it is high time to fix the law in such a manner as to resemble, as it ought, the great Author of all law, in whom there is no variableness nor ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... Some experimenters placed the center of gravity far below the wings, in the belief that the weight would naturally seek to remain at the lowest point. It is true, that, like the pendulum, it tended to seek the lowest point; but also, like the pendulum, it tended to oscillate in a manner destructive of all stability. A more satisfactory system, especially for lateral balance, was that of arranging the wings in the shape of a broad V, to form a dihedral angle, with the center low and the wing-tips elevated. In theory this was an automatic system, ...
— The Early History of the Airplane • Orville Wright

... the nuns to the immediate vicinity of the chair, which her excited imagination instantly converted into an engine of torture, that part of the floor on which the chair stood seemed to tremble and oscillate beneath her feet, as if ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... carbon's relationship to oxidation and reduction respectively. As it is natural for sulphur to be in the reduced state, and for phosphorus to be in the oxidized state, so it is in the nature of carbon to be related to both states and therefore to oscillate between them. By its readiness to change over from the oxidized to the reduced state, it can serve the plant in the assimilation of light, while by its readiness to make the reverse change it serves man and animal in ...
— Man or Matter • Ernst Lehrs

... lie with their feet to the fire, and their heads resting in the hollow of their saddles. The horses, standing around a tree, and tied to its lower branches, seem also to sleep. I am awake and listening. The wind is high up, whistling among the twigs and causing the long white streamers to oscillate. It utters a wild and melancholy music. There are few other sounds, for it is winter, and the tree-frog and cicada are silent. I hear the crackling knots in the fire, the rustling of dry leaves swirled up by a stray ...
— The Scalp Hunters • Mayne Reid

... one go into such minutiae in order to teach singing? I think the answer must ever be in the negative. You might as well talk to a gold-fish in a bowl-and say: 'If you desire to proceed laterally to the right, kindly oscillate gently your sinister dorsal fin, and you will achieve the desired result.' Oh, Art, what sins are ...
— Vocal Mastery - Talks with Master Singers and Teachers • Harriette Brower

... counterpoises, turning first one way then the other acted as a sort of mechanical escapement. Such an arrangement is however mechanically impossible without some complicated free-wheeling device between the drive and the escapement, and its only effect would be to oscillate the angel rapidly rather than turn it steadily. I believe that Fremont, over-anxious to provide a protoescapement, has done too much violence to the facts and turned away without good reason from the more simple and reasonable explanation. It is nevertheless still possible to ...
— On the Origin of Clockwork, Perpetual Motion Devices, and the Compass • Derek J. de Solla Price

... its present aspects. So long as the existing mass of our crude and unassimilated colored population holds its present place in the body politic, we must expect that civilization and political rights will oscillate between alternate perils—the peril that comes from the white man when he places civilization, or sometimes his travesty of it, higher than the Negro's political rights, and the peril that comes ...
— Black and White - Land, Labor, and Politics in the South • Timothy Thomas Fortune

... eighteen feet in length. The Logan or Swinging Stone was estimated to weigh about eighty tons, and although it was quite still when we reached it, we were easily able to set it moving. It was a block of granite, and continued to oscillate for some little time, but formerly it was said that it could not be moved from its axis by force. This led to a foolish bet being made by Lieutenant Goldsmith of the Royal Navy, who landed with his ...
— From John O'Groats to Land's End • Robert Naylor and John Naylor

... vibration be not similar at every impression, it can never be carried beyond the number of actual impressions; for, move any body as a pendulum, in one way, and it will continue to oscillate in an arch of the same circle, until the known causes make it rest; but if, after first putting it in motion in one direction, you push it into another, it can never reassume the first direction; ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. I. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... to make it more plain by an illustration, here is a tuning-fork on the table before me. With a vigorous stroke of the bow I set it vibrating. The two prongs separate, oscillate rapidly, and a sound of a certain tone is heard. I connect this tuning-fork, by means of electric wires, with a Deprez recording apparatus which records the vibrations on the blackened surface of a revolving cylinder; and we can thus, ...
— The Mind and the Brain - Being the Authorised Translation of L'me et le Corps • Alfred Binet

... considerable degree denudation by rain. Whether any further rise is caused by elevation from below is doubtful; there is no direct evidence of it, though slight earthquakes annually occur; and even when they have not been felt, the water of tanks has been seen to oscillate for three-quarters of an hour without intermission, from no discernible cause.* [The natives are familiar with this phenomenon, of which Dr. Baker remembers two instances, one in the cold season of 1834-5, the other in that of 1830-1. The earthquakes do not affect any particular month, ...
— Himalayan Journals (Complete) • J. D. Hooker

... it perpetuates error with the obstinacy engendered by the evidence of ill-observed facts, but also because it hinders the mind from attaining to higher views of nature. Instead of seeking to discover the 'mean' or 'medium' point, around which oscillate, in apparent independence of forces, all the phenomena of the external world, this system delights in multiplying exceptions to the law, and seeks, amid phenomena and in organic forms for something beyond the marvel of a regular ...
— COSMOS: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Vol. 1 • Alexander von Humboldt

... threads or wires on the screen remote from the spectators. Behind this are ranged, one behind the other, and at right angles to the screen, a row of lighted candles. Being all in the same line, they throw one shadow only on the screen. The figure is now made to oscillate slightly, so as to impart some little motion to the shadow. One of the candles is now removed from its place in the row, and waved gently about, now high, now low, the effect to the spectators being that a second shadow springs ...
— Entertainments for Home, Church and School • Frederica Seeger

... be fully enlisted in doing something, while seeing to it that the doing requires observation, the acquisition of information, and the use of a constructive imagination, is what most needs to be done to improve social conditions. To oscillate between drill exercises that strive to attain efficiency in outward doing without the use of intelligence, and an accumulation of knowledge that is supposed to be an ultimate end in itself, means that education accepts the present social conditions as final, and thereby takes upon itself the responsibility ...
— Democracy and Education • John Dewey

... the aerial kaleidoscope and the vessels were seen drawn up in three parallel lines on the east and three on the west. Then the search-lights again flashed out, filling the whole intermediate area of the sky with beams of brilliant coloured light, which were caused to oscillate sideways and overlap, producing a most gorgeous intermingling of glowing colours. The Martians certainly had a complete understanding of all the peculiarities connected with mixtures ...
— To Mars via The Moon - An Astronomical Story • Mark Wicks

... different ordeals through which the tried individuals, whether devotees, criminals, or captives, had to pass. These judgment stones had been anciently very common." According to the number of times a stone oscillated or refused to oscillate, the Druids determined to convict or ...
— The Mysteries of All Nations • James Grant

... connected by a spring in each case. If we hang any one of the systems up by the hook on one of its projecting rods, and hang a weight to the hook of the other projecting rod, the weight, when first put on, will oscillate up and down, and will go on doing so for ever if the system be absolutely unfrictional. If we check the vibration by hand, the weight will hang down at rest, the pin drawn out to a certain degree; and the distance drawn out will be simply proportional ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 460, October 25, 1884 • Various

... &c 111 [Obs.]. V. fluctuate, vary, waver, flounder, flicker, flitter, flit, flutter, shift, shuffle, shake, totter, tremble, vacillate, wamble^, turn and turn about, ring the changes; sway to and fro, shift to and fro; change and change about; waffle, blow with the wind (irresolute) 605; oscillate &c 314; vibrate between, two extremes, oscillate between, two extremes; alternate; have as man phases as the moon. Adj. changeable, changeful; changing &c 140; mutable, variable, checkered, ever changing; protean, proteiform^; versatile. unstaid^, inconstant; unsteady, unstable, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... hung upon the rope half-way up the precipice, the wind acting upon his body, carried him at times several feet out from the face of the cliff—causing him also to oscillate violently from side to side, notwithstanding that the rope was fast at ...
— The Cliff Climbers - A Sequel to "The Plant Hunters" • Captain Mayne Reid

... three millions of miles. But the position of the second star being unknown, the mass of the system remains indeterminate. The lesser component of the splendid, slowly revolving binary, Castor, is also closely double. Its spectral lines were found by Belopolsky in 1896[1447] to oscillate once in nearly three days, the secondary globe being apparently quite obscure. Further study of the movements thus betrayed elicited the fact that the major axis of the eclipse traversed revolves in a ...
— A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century - Fourth Edition • Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke

... instances to precisely the same specific formula of artifice. His diction is often inflated into fustian, and he indulges in exaggeration till it sometimes, unconsciously no doubt, amounts to falsehood. It is a common fault of those who strive at producing oratorical effects, to oscillate between commonplace and extravagance; and while studying Mr. Macaulay, one feels as if vibrating between facts that every one knows and consequences which nobody can believe. We are satisfied that whoever will take, as we have ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson



Words linked to "Oscillate" :   sway, hesitate, swing, vacillate, oscillation, vibrate, librate, oscillatory, hunt, waver, waffle, shillyshally



Copyright © 2019 Dictonary.net