os·​cil·​la·​tor | \ˈä-sə-ˌlā-tər \

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

The fly represents the oscillator, the part that controls the pitch. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Thomas Dolby Has a Brilliantly Simple Explanation of How a Synthesizer Works," 24 Aug. 2015 To reduce the cost and size, researchers have demonstrated an optical oscillator that only requires an operating turbine to function. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Spinning glass ball rejects light from one direction," 27 June 2018 This change is then picked up by a second device called a ring oscillator, which converts voltage changes into a string of electrical pulses. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "New artificial nerves could transform prosthetics," 31 May 2018 These pulses, and those from other pressure sensor/ring oscillator combos, are fed into a third device called a synaptic transistor, which sends out a series of electrical pulses in patterns that match those produced by biological neurons. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "New artificial nerves could transform prosthetics," 31 May 2018 Marsha Ginsberg’s set is strewn with artifacts such as a portable turntable, oscillators and proto-synthesizers, a reel-to-reel machine — remnants of a time when music-making and music-listening involved a physical rapport with cumbersome objects. Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times, "In 2 New Plays, Sound Design Is Front and Center (for a Change)," 26 Feb. 2018 Patent application for the radio crystal oscillator is filed. cleveland.com, "1918 famous firsts, events, inventions in news, entertainment, world affairs (photos)," 2 Jan. 2018 This is absorbed by the mechanical oscillator, exciting it. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Miniature trampoline may let microwave and optical qubits communicate," 28 Sep. 2017 Beyond just building a more accurate timepiece, using an oscillator instead of a balance spring means less moving parts, which means less wear and no required lubrication. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "New Watch Mechanism Upends 342-Year-Old Tech," 14 Sep. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of oscillator

1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of oscillator was in 1798

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os·​cil·​la·​tor | \ˈäs-ə-ˌlāt-ər \

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

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Britannica English: Translation of oscillator for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oscillator

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