oscillator

noun
os·​cil·​la·​tor | \ ˈä-sə-ˌlā-tər How to pronounce oscillator (audio) \

Definition of oscillator

1 : one that oscillates
2 : a device for producing alternating current especially : a radio-frequency or audio-frequency generator

Examples of oscillator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An atomic clock employs an electric oscillator regulated by an atom’s natural oscillation movement between the positive charge on the nucleus and the surrounding electron cloud. Larry Printz, Ars Technica, "The long, winding, technological road to GPS in every car," 24 June 2020 The oscillator’s properties are given by gravity, so any deviations may be attributable to deviations from Newtonian gravity. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Tiny pendulum may reveal gravity’s secrets," 26 June 2020 Its 12-voice engine offers two oscillators per voice, a 32-step sequencer and four envelopes to deliver authentic, true analog grit. Popular Science, "The best vintage-inspired analog keyboards and synthesizers," 26 May 2020 However, their precision is only a quarter of the SNES' CPU oscillator frequency; that is to say, the horizontal counter increments only once every four clock cycles. Ars Technica, "How SNES emulators got a few pixels from complete perfection," 1 Apr. 2020 Another kind of entanglement between mechanical oscillators was reported, in back-to-back papers with Gröblacher’s team in Nature, by Mika Sillanpää of Aalto University in Finland and colleagues. Quanta Magazine, "Real-Life Schrödinger’s Cats Probe the Boundary of the Quantum World," 25 June 2018 Even oscillators that have different natural frequencies, when coupled, reach a compromise and oscillate in tandem. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Math of How Crickets, Starlings, and Neurons Sync Up," 7 Apr. 2019 Even oscillators that have different natural frequencies, when coupled, reach a compromise and oscillate in tandem. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Math of How Crickets, Starlings, and Neurons Sync Up," 7 Apr. 2019 The sounds were created with audio equipment, including oscillators, that created tunable sound waves. New York Times, "Mario Davidovsky, Composer Who Made Electronics Sing, Dies at 85," 28 Aug. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of oscillator

1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oscillator

Time Traveler for oscillator

Time Traveler

The first known use of oscillator was in 1798

See more words from the same year

Statistics for oscillator

Last Updated

14 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oscillator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oscillator. Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for oscillator

oscillator

noun
os·​cil·​la·​tor | \ ˈäs-ə-ˌlāt-ər How to pronounce oscillator (audio) \

Medical Definition of oscillator

: a device or mechanism for producing or controlling oscillations especially : one (as a radio-frequency generator) for producing an alternating current

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on oscillator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oscillator

Britannica English: Translation of oscillator for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oscillator

Comments on oscillator

What made you want to look up oscillator? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!