os·​cil·​la·​tion | \ ˌä-sə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce oscillation (audio) \

Definition of oscillation

1 : the action or state of oscillating stays can be effectively used to prevent oscillations in new bridges— D. B. Steinman
2 : variation, fluctuation famines due to excessive storminess and violent oscillations of rain and drought, heat and cold— Ellsworth Huntington
3 : a flow of electricity changing periodically from a maximum to a minimum especially : a flow periodically changing direction
4 : a single swing (as of an oscillating body) from one extreme limit to the other Each oscillation of the pendulum represents one second.

Other Words from oscillation

oscillational \ ˌä-​sə-​ˈlā-​shnəl How to pronounce oscillation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for oscillation


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Examples of oscillation in a Sentence

the continued oscillation of the fan There has been oscillation between optimism and pessimism among voters.
Recent Examples on the Web That includes your running power, stride length, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation. PCMAG, 12 July 2022 The fan is 42 inches tall, with a small footprint and relatively inconspicuous design, and features four fan speeds and optional oscillation. Camryn Rabideau, Popular Mechanics, 3 June 2022 This limit is essentially the atom’s actual oscillation. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 18 July 2022 Unbalanced arpeggios create a feeling of weight oscillation, vertigo. Liza Lentini, SPIN, 1 July 2022 An oscillation between the two sets of concerns captures not only our unstable moral and social-justice intuitions, which often depend on who’s the violator and who’s the violated, but also the real trade-offs between privacy and competing concerns. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, 20 June 2022 While some fans out there only blow wind in one direction, this tower fan offers 90-degree oscillation, meaning that the cool air will reach your entire room. Nicol Natale, PEOPLE.com, 13 June 2022 The internal oscillation ensures that the air flow gets distributed evenly throughout the room for up to 20 feet, according to the testers. Lily Gray, Better Homes & Gardens, 9 June 2022 There are also more updates to running, offering insights into stride length, ground contact time and vertical oscillation. David Phelan, Forbes, 11 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oscillation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of oscillation

1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for oscillation

Time Traveler

The first known use of oscillation was in 1658

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Dictionary Entries Near oscillation

oscillating wave


oscillation circuit

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Statistics for oscillation

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Oscillation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oscillation. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for oscillation


os·​cil·​la·​tion | \ ˌäs-ə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce oscillation (audio) \

Medical Definition of oscillation

1 : the action or state of oscillating
2 : a flow of electricity changing periodically from a maximum to a minimum especially : a flow periodically changing direction

More from Merriam-Webster on oscillation

Nglish: Translation of oscillation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oscillation for Arabic Speakers


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