oscillation

noun
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.

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Other Words from oscillation

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

Synonyms for oscillation

Synonyms

change, fluctuation, flux, inconstancy

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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

The piezoelectric actuators require high voltage (200 Volts) and rapid switching (200 Hertz oscillations). John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Flying, insect-like robot flits closer to independent flight," 26 June 2019 There are other regular oscillations in the planet’s climate, but ENSO is by far the most important one. The Economist, "The South Asian monsoon, past, present and future," 27 June 2019 In addition to MicroBooNE, Fermilab is building two other detectors to sit on the same beam of neutrinos and work in concert to study the neutrino oscillations going on there. Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American, "Evidence Builds for a New Kind of Neutrino," 7 June 2018 Kidman’s nonjudgmental inhabiting of Celeste’s oscillations continues to be exceptional. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "“Big Little Lies” Season 2, Reviewed: Meryl, Meryl, Meryl," 9 June 2019 Our current situation, as Snyder sees it, has been shaped by the wild oscillation between the determinism of modernization theory and the determinism of nationalism. Adam Tooze, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy and Its Discontents," 6 June 2019 This includes some slow-changing natural temperature oscillations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but also the fact that Arctic sea ice loss became large around the same time. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Greenland’s melting snow makes new hockey stick (graph)," 9 Dec. 2018 But on a bridge, this exacerbates the problem, giving rise to additional small sideways oscillations that amplify the swaying. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New study sheds more light on what caused Millennium Bridge to wobble," 30 Oct. 2018 The phase describes where in an oscillation the swing is. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Qubits can sync if they have more than two possible values," 7 Aug. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of oscillation

1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for oscillation

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oscillation

The first known use of oscillation was in 1658

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More Definitions for oscillation

oscillation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of oscillation

: the act of regularly moving from one position to another and back to the original position
somewhat formal : a frequent change from one state, position, or amount to another
somewhat formal : the act of changing from one belief, feeling, etc., to an opposite one

oscillation

noun
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

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