Weekly Word: Oscillate

It’s that time of week again where I share a word that I find interesting and a little story in which I use it.

This week’s Weekly Word is: oscillate

Part of Speech



UK: /ˈɒs.ɪ.leɪt/ 

US: /ˈɑː.səl.eɪt/

Word Forms

  • oscillates – 3rd person present tense
  • oscillating  – present participle
  • oscillated – past tense, past participle

Related Words

  • oscillation (noun)


  1. to move or swing back and forth between positions in a regular rhythm.
  2. to vary or fluctuate between two states, limits, opinions, or feelings.
  3. physics (of a wave or current) to change regularly in strength or direction; to vary in magnitude or position in a regular manner about a central point.

Word Origin

First recorded use in the 18th Century: from latin oscillat– ‘swung’, from the verb oscillare.


  1. swing, sway, swing from side to side, swing back and forth, swing backwards and forwards, swing to and fro, vibrate, wigwag
  2. waver, swing, fluctuate, alternate, see-saw, veer, yo-yo, sway, go from one extreme to the other, vary, vacillate, teeter, hover, wobble, blow hot and cold


remain, stay, be still, stabilize

Use the Word

Photo by ThisIsEngineering on Pexels.com

To Oscillate

Geoffrey watched the needle oscillate, its repetitive motion growing increasingly hypnotic the longer he gazed upon it. His emotions oscillated right along with the fluctuations shown by his equipment.

He just couldn’t decide what to do.

On the one hand, the results from the previous trials had all been largely positive. They showed that the current combination of elements worked. The transmissions had been enhanced. He had succeeded when everyone had told him that it was impossible. On the other hand… The nature of these latest oscillations just didn’t make sense and that threw his whole experiment into doubt. An anomaly such as this, if it became known, would jeopardise his funding. It would jeopardise everything that he had worked for.

But only if it became known.

It was time for him to quit his oscillating and finally decide what path he was going to take.


If you would like to join in with this activity in any way, feel free to do so. You could either share a Weekly Word of your own – this week beginning with the letter O – or you could use my word, or Millie Thom’s, as inspiration for a post. This could be a piece of poetry, flash fiction, or any form of prose that you choose. Just share a link in the comments so we can see what you’ve been up to!

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