vibrate

verb
vi·​brate | \ ˈvī-ˌbrāt , 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 result is that the mirror starts to vibrate at 1kHz, with the amplitude of the kHz proportional to the energy imparted by the particle collisions going on in the mirror. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Baby gravitational wave detector could find a home at the LHC," 3 Oct. 2018 In Razer’s example, your keyboard’s rest wrist could vibrate to simulate movement on your left, while your mouse could rumble to simulate right-side movement and the kickback of a gun. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "6 important CES 2019 reveals and trends that PC enthusiasts need to know about," 11 Jan. 2019 In the opening scene of Step Up 2: The Streets, someone vibrates underneath a subway seat. Jaya Saxena, GQ, "Step Up 2: The Streets Is Actually the Best Step Up Movie (And It's on Netflix)," 4 July 2018 The pressure is ultimately due to the random motion of rapidly vibrating gas molecules, and that vibration consists of movement in all directions. Tom Skilling, chicagotribune.com, "Ask Tom: How heavy is the Earth's atmosphere?," 27 June 2018 His soul vibrating in unwelcome sympathy with this hellish choir. Chris Lykins, San Antonio Express-News, "Weekend Weather: The hazy shade of winter lost in the sun and shadow," 2 Feb. 2018 To overcome this, the magnetic drum is located above a conveyor that's on a vibrating platform. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Bikes, bowling balls, and the delicate balancing act that is modern recycling," 31 Dec. 2018 Ultrasonic: This technology uses a high-speed vibrating plate to turn water into a fine mist. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Humidifiers to Buy This Winter," 20 Dec. 2018 The frame will vibrate to indicate a transition to a different tint, with one, two, or three vibrations signifying the current tint level. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Oakley Now Packs 3 Tint Lenses Inside Its Snow Goggles," 11 Oct. 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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Learn More about vibrate

Statistics for vibrate

Last Updated

7 Feb 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 \
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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