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 These works have been drummed, vibrated into existence. Austen Erblat, sun-sentinel.com, "Grateful Dead fans will be truckin’ to two upcoming events in South Florida. They involve hockey and artwork.," 5 Nov. 2019 One person who indisputably vibrated to the Neumanns’ frequency was Mr. Son. Amy Chozick, New York Times, "Adam Neumann and the Art of Failing Up," 2 Nov. 2019 As the rumbling engine wheezed to a stop, a hush fell over the bus’ interior, and its quivering floor suddenly stopped vibrating. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "Muni tries to tackle environmental justice with new SF green bus zones," 2 Oct. 2019 Shortly after Lion Air Flight 610 took off from Jakarta on Oct. 29, stick shakers on the pilots’ control columns vibrated to warn of an impending stall. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Safety board: Boeing should reconsider pilots’ response time," 26 Sep. 2019 Soon, basketballs were being dribbled, soccer balls were being kicked, skateboards were being ridden, footballs were being thrown and the trampoline was vibrating. Eric Sondheimercolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: High school football culture exchange brings Hope from Chicago," 21 Sep. 2019 The speakers are a little tinnier than those on the original Switch, and at full volume, the back panel of the machine can start vibrating noticeably. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Nintendo Switch Lite is the best portable system Nintendo has ever made," 19 Sep. 2019 Despite the vibrating in his pocket, Tang isn’t concerned by the reading on the subway platform. Dan Dubno, Popular Mechanics, "This Tiny Device Can Detect Nuclear Armageddon," 25 Apr. 2019 In many cases, NEMs decoupled from their nearest neighbors and remotely synchronized, vibrating in phase with tiny drumheads elsewhere in the ring. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Math of How Crickets, Starlings, and Neurons Sync Up," 7 Apr. 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

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Vibrate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vibrating. Accessed 22 November 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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