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

Their research suggests that smaller formations that vibrate at a higher frequency may not be as resilient as Castleton appears to be. Joanna Klein, New York Times, "Taking the Pulse of a Sandstone Tower in Utah," 17 Sep. 2019 The light is essentially hitting a surface that is vibrating super fast. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Trampoline mirror may push laser pulse through fabric of the Universe," 14 Sep. 2019 The musical notes are created by a set of grooves that vibrate the car wheels like a rumble strip. Trevor Cox, National Geographic, "15 musical wonders to see—and hear," 31 July 2019 Replace loud mechanical items and balance appliances that vibrate when not level. oregonlive.com, "Secrets of a broke housekeeper-turned-multimillionaire: Designer Jennifer Adams returns to Portland," 25 June 2019 The star of Ari Aster’s Midsommar expresses her character’s emotional trauma with guttural, primal cries that vibrate through her body and out into the world. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Midsommar Star Florence Pugh Swears Her Cult-y Horror Breakup Movie Isn't That Scary," 20 June 2019 The new glaucoma drainage device has microactuators that vibrate any time a magnetic field is introduced nearby. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Latest Glaucoma Treatment Could Be Magnets In Your Eyes," 13 Nov. 2018 Page after page reveals interiors that practically vibrate with charisma, while others wax a poetic minimalism that, despite a lack of things, overwhelm with grace. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "In Her New Book, Wendy Goodman Asks May I Come In? Thankfully, a Lot of People Said Yes," 4 Oct. 2018 But there's nothing like that electric, chill-inducing roar that vibrates through the crowd at a concert. Kevinisha Walker, NOLA.com, "Anita Baker 'gives the best she's got' at Jazz Fest 2018," 6 May 2018

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

17 Oct 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

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