Definition of vibrate
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
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>
Examples of vibrate in a sentence
The car started to vibrate.
When you blow into the instrument, the air vibrates the reed.
Origin and Etymology of vibrate
Latin vibratus, past participle of vibrare to brandish, wave, rock — more at wipe
First Known Use: 1616
Synonym Discussion of 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>.
VIBRATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of vibrate for English Language Learners
: to move back and forth or from side to side with very short, quick movements
VIBRATE Defined for Kids
Definition of vibrate for Students
: to move or cause to move back and forth or from side to side very quickly
Seen and Heard
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