oscillating


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

os·cil·late

 (ŏs′ə-lāt′)
intr.v. os·cil·lat·ed, os·cil·lat·ing, os·cil·lates
1. To swing back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm.
2. To waver, as between conflicting opinions or courses of action; vacillate: "The court has oscillated over the decades from more liberal to less, more conservative to less, depending upon who was president at the time of vacancies" (Gordon J. Humphrey). See Synonyms at swing.
3. Physics To vary between alternate extremes, usually within a definable period of time.

[Latin ōscillāre, ōscillāt-, from ōscillum, something that swings back and forth, swing, probably from ōscillum, small mask of Bacchus, diminutive of ōs, mouth; see ōs- in Indo-European roots.]

os′cil·la′tor n.
os′cil·la·to′ry (-lə-tôr′ē) adj.
Word History: The history of the word oscillate shows how English words referring to technical or scientific concepts often come from Latin words describing everyday objects and ordinary life in ancient times. In a passage in his Georgics, a long poem celebrating rural life, the Roman poet Virgil describes how Bacchus is honored in the countryside by hanging small masks from pine trees. He uses the Latin word ōscillum (plural ōscilla) to refer to these hanging religious decorations, which were common in the ancient Roman world. The house of a wealthy Roman family was usually built around one or more courtyards or gardens enclosed by rows of columns, and in each space between these columns, an ōscillum was often hung. It is probable that this word ōscillum, "something that swings back and forth," is simply an extended use of the word ōscillum meaning "a small mouth, a small face" (a diminutive of ōs, "mouth"), since the swinging objects most often consisted of masks or tondi depicting faces. From the word ōscillum, "something that swings back and forth," the Romans derived the verb ōscillāre, "to ride in a swing," and the noun ōscillātiō, "the action of swinging." These are the sources of English oscillate and oscillation, words that entered English during the 1600s and 1700s as technical terms mainly used in scientific writings and similar works.

oscillating

(ˈɒsɪleɪtɪŋ)
adj
(General Engineering) moving repeatedly from one position to another and back again; vibrating
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.oscillating - having periodic vibrations
periodic, periodical - happening or recurring at regular intervals; "the periodic appearance of the seventeen-year locust"
Translations

oscillating

[ˈɒsɪleɪtɪŋ] ADJoscilante

oscillating

[ˈɒsɪleɪtɪŋ] adjoscillant(e)
oscillating motion → mouvement oscillant

oscillating

adj
(Phys) → schwingend; needleausschlagend; (rapidly) → zitternd
(fig)schwankend

oscillating

[ˈɒsɪˌleɪtɪŋ] adjoscillante
References in classic literature ?
Your poise will be more powerful than any oscillating tendency of mine.
My impression is, that I was in a state of confusion about it, and, oscillating between the two points, touched neither.
The water roared in his ears like the voice of Niagara, yet he heard the dull thunder of the volley and, rising again toward the surface, met shining bits of metal, singularly flattened, oscillating slowly downward.
His shoulders are rounded from much study, and his face protrudes forward, and is forever slowly oscillating from side to side in a curiously reptilian fashion.
Guppy was still oscillating in the same troubled state of mind.
And farther still, beyond those forests and fields, the bright, oscillating, limitless distance lured one to itself.
An arrow drove past me and entered the ground, its feathered shaft vibrating and oscillating from the impact of its arrested flight.
Past, present, and future mingled; and he went on oscillating across the broad, warm world, through high adventure and noble deeds to Her - ay, and with her, winning her, his arm about her, and carrying her on in flight through the empery of his mind.
I am a jellyfish, a huge, gross mass of oscillating protoplasm, a--a .
He may ask where are the remains of those infinitely numerous organisms which must have existed long before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited: I can answer this latter question only hypothetically, by saying that as far as we can see, where our oceans now extend they have for an enormous period extended, and where our oscillating continents now stand they have stood ever since the Silurian epoch; but that long before that period, the world may have presented a wholly different aspect; and that the older continents, formed of formations older than any known to us, may now all be in a metamorphosed condition, or may lie buried under the ocean.
Even lifeless figures, as vessels and stools--let them be drawn ever so correctly-- lose all effect so soon as they lack the resting upon their centre of gravity, and have a certain swimming and oscillating appearance.
At last the passenger carriages rolled in, oscillating before coming to a standstill.