vibrate

verb
vi·​brate | \ ˈvī-ˌbrāt How to pronounce vibrate (audio) , especially British vī-ˈbrāt\
vibrated; vibrating

Definition of vibrate

transitive verb

1 : to swing or move to and fro
2 : to emit with or as if with a vibratory motion
3 : to mark or measure by oscillation a pendulum vibrating seconds
4 : to set in vibration

intransitive verb

1a : to move to and fro or from side to side : oscillate
b : fluctuate, vacillate vibrate between two choices
2 : to have an effect as or as if of vibration music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory— P. B. Shelley
3 : to be in a state of vibration : quiver
4 : to respond sympathetically : thrill vibrate to the opportunity

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Synonyms for vibrate

Synonyms

agitate, bucket, convulse, jerk, jiggle, joggle, jolt, jounce, judder [chiefly British], quake, quiver, shake, shudder, wobble (also wabble)

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Choose the Right Synonym for vibrate

swing, sway, oscillate, vibrate, fluctuate, waver, undulate mean to move from one direction to its opposite. swing implies a movement of something attached at one end or one side. the door suddenly swung open sway implies a slow swinging or teetering movement. trees swaying in the breeze oscillate stresses a usually regular alternation of direction. an oscillating fan vibrate suggests the rapid oscillation of an elastic body under stress or impact. the vibrating strings of a piano fluctuate suggests constant irregular changes of level, intensity, or value. fluctuating interest rates waver stresses irregular motion suggestive of reeling or tottering. the exhausted runner wavered before collapsing undulate suggests a gentle wavelike motion. an undulating sea of grass

Examples of vibrate in a Sentence

The car started to vibrate. When you blow into the instrument, the air vibrates the reed.

Recent Examples on the Web

The scene is tender, as Noelle gently applies powder on Lydia’s cheeks, and Lydia seems to vibrate with happiness and gratitude at being touched by another person for the first time in too long. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Cruelty of Aunt Lydia," 13 July 2019 Once absorbed, photons transfer their energy to the molecules in the pavement, causing them to vibrate, and enough vibration eventually conducts heat. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "Attempting to Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk Has Been a Summer Pastime for Over 100 Years," 4 July 2019 Then a storm came and the gazebo started vibrating in the breeze. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Blood sacrifice: The mosquitoes are forcing us to consider a screened porch," 28 July 2019 Drawing on the similarities of rituals between women from Mexico and India, these photographs create a bridge between worlds and vibrate with spiritual energy. Darryl Ratcliff, Dallas News, "Latina artists in Dallas showcase 'were told ‘no,’ and they triumphed anyway’," 25 July 2019 Per Scientific American’s Jennifer Leman, these eggs began vibrating and continued to do so upon reuniting with their siblings, ensuring that unexposed clutchmates whose sense of hearing had yet to develop also received the alarm. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Unhatched Bird Embryos Communicate With Siblings by Vibrating Their Shells," 23 July 2019 Millie’s Cafe Millie’s may be spartan — a few booths, a bunch of folding tables and a modest amount of art on the walls — but the food positively vibrates with color and life. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The best restaurants in Mesa," 15 July 2019 Miyako was on her way to the door when her sleeve vibrated with a different type of alarm. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Two unlikely cops are paired up to solve murders in a war-torn Tokyo in Ninth Step Station," 8 Dec. 2018 Or, beginning July 15, check out Vibe Flow Yoga, offering a 50-minute yoga class with custom audio headsets on a vibrating floor in a room heated to 80 degrees. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "One Paseo: A day in the life of San Diego’s new urban village," 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vibrate.' 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 vibrate

1616, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for vibrate

Latin vibratus, past participle of vibrare to brandish, wave, rock — more at wipe

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Statistics for vibrate

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vibrate

The first known use of vibrate was in 1616

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More Definitions for vibrate

vibrate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of vibrate

: to move back and forth or from side to side with very short, quick movements

vibrate

verb
vi·​brate | \ ˈvī-ˌbrāt How to pronounce vibrate (audio) \
vibrated; vibrating

Kids Definition of vibrate

: to move or cause to move back and forth or from side to side very quickly

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More from Merriam-Webster on vibrate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vibrate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vibrate

Spanish Central: Translation of vibrate

Nglish: Translation of vibrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vibrate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on vibrate

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