Definition of oscillation in US English:



  • 1Movement back and forth at a regular speed.

    ‘the natural oscillation of a spring’
    ‘the oscillations of a pendulum’
    • ‘In such case, the valves should be closed just enough to stop oscillation.’
    • ‘The progression of the mechanical oscillation itself is conditioned by the grain compatibility of harmonics.’
    • ‘The aircraft began a series of violent oscillations at 60 feet that would frighten even the dumbest pilot.’
    • ‘The hammer area of rocker arms is hardened progressively or by oscillation.’
    • ‘The oscillations increased to 90 degrees, the flight films showing the vehicle swinging madly from side to side.’
    • ‘Because the oscillations of different filament pairs have different phases, oscillatory motion is not normally observable on the scale of a whole muscle fiber in steady conditions.’
    • ‘The more highly accurate quartz clocks followed and depended on the oscillation of quartz crystal for control.’
    • ‘If the oscillations are not damped out, they could break the fragile lines of other suspended weights and become amplified.’
    • ‘In this case of applied displacement, the initial velocity was not equal to zero at the start of free oscillations.’
    • ‘Acoustic cavitation involves the creation and oscillation of gas bubbles in a liquid.’
    • ‘The rest function as insulators, or dampers of mechanical oscillation.’
    • ‘The oscillations induced by our rudder corrections got worse with every application, regardless of how smooth we tried to be.’
    • ‘During that time, the bridge had been engaging in a wide variety of different large-amplitude vertical oscillations, without the slightest sign of any torsional motion.’
    • ‘The lack of damping property also caused oscillations of relatively high frequency.’
    • ‘The oscillations began to dampen out after about three seconds, and once again I was in control of the aircraft.’
    • ‘The mechanical oscillation is driven by the energy of the chemical reaction shown in Fig.1.’
    • ‘It has bristles that oscillate at 7000 oscillations per minute.’
    • ‘Four conspicuous jerks forwards, with slower retreats, were seen on one occasion to occur in exactly one minute, besides some minor oscillations.’
    • ‘The eddies set up an oscillation that may be reinforced by the natural frequency of the structure.’
    • ‘This continues, and the oscillations build with every roll.’
    swinging, swing, swaying, swinging from side to side, swinging backwards and forwards, swinging back and forth, swinging to and fro, vibration
    wavering, fluctuation, see-sawing, vacillation, yo-yoing, variation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Variation or fluctuation between two extremes of opinion, action, or quality.
      ‘the plot's oscillation between bleak and comic elements’
      • ‘That is where his oscillations are most unsettling.’
      • ‘During the revolution, inevitable oscillations will occur in the army, an internal struggle will take place.’
      • ‘These oscillations are the real moral hazard.’
      • ‘Interplay is the appropriate word to describe his unusual oscillation between reality and imagination.’
      • ‘The fact is, the wild oscillations in our business life will continue to get wilder and wilder, probably forever.’
  • 2Physics
    Regular variation in magnitude or position around a central point.

    • ‘If it were so, then the short-period oscillations should be confined to only one frequency.’
    • ‘To characterize the frequency domain of these oscillations, power spectral analyses were performed.’
    • ‘There are many component failures in the transceiver which might produce the right amount of gain change for oscillations.’
    • ‘Recently, researchers harnessed the spins of electrons to create oscillations which they said suggested a new type of electronic clock.’
    • ‘In this study the signal roughness is of secondary interest whereas signal oscillations and their frequencies are of primary interest.’