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

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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 This year's first place image -- showing silicone oil droplets bouncing continuously above a petri dish of vibrating oil-- was taken by the physicist Dr. Aleks Labuda and demonstrates a theory called pilot wave theory. Rory Sullivan, CNN, "The best science photos of the year, as decreed by the Royal Society," 9 Dec. 2019 The Kansas City Star reports that something called promession, the creation of a Swedish biologist, would allow the body to be cryogenically frozen and vibrated into tiny pieces. USA TODAY, "First Spouse Dolls, Snowstang, sand sculpture: News from around our 50 states," 7 Dec. 2019 Every time Tim’s parents get onstage for a speech, Evelyn Piazza can feel herself shaking, almost vibrating. Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, "‘Hit them in their heart’: These parents lost kids to hazing. They’re trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again.," 3 Nov. 2019 Patients wear vibrating vests to break up the mucus and spend hours each day coughing to keep their lungs clear. The Washington Post, oregonlive, "Long-awaited cystic fibrosis drug could turn deadly disease into a manageable condition," 31 Oct. 2019 Patients wear vibrating vests to break up the mucus and spend hours each day coughing to keep their lungs clear. Carolyn Y. Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, "Long-awaited cystic fibrosis drug could turn deadly disease into a manageable condition," 31 Oct. 2019 In addition to causing shivering, sweating, difficulty breathing, and blurry vision as a result of vibrating eyeballs, low-frequency sounds can also, apparently, produce ghosts. Bianca Bosker, The Atlantic, "Why Everything Is Getting Louder," 8 Oct. 2019 Sound—waves of vibrating airborne molecules that smash into one another before crashing into our eardrums—has always been a part of our world. Jennifer Emerling, National Geographic, "Seeking silence on a California road trip," 6 Aug. 2019 At one point, Philippe likens the concept to cymatics, in which plates or membranes vibrate in resonance with sound waves to produce patterns on their surface that reflect the substrate's modal vibrations. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Alien’s origin story chestbursts anew in stirring new documentary," 11 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for vibrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of vibrate was in 1616

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Statistics for vibrate

Last Updated

12 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Vibrate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vibrate?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=v&file=vibrat01. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for vibrate

vibrate

verb
How to pronounce vibrate (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vibrate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vibrate

Spanish Central: Translation of vibrate

Nglish: Translation of vibrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vibrate for Arabic Speakers

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