an act or instance of oscillating.
a single swing or movement in one direction of an oscillating body.
fluctuation between beliefs, opinions, conditions, etc.
an effect expressible as a quantity that repeatedly and regularly fluctuates above and below some mean value, as the pressure of a sound wave or the voltage of an alternating current.
a single fluctuation between maximum and minimum values in such an effect.
the difference between the least upper bound and the greatest lower bound of the functional values of a function in a given interval.
Also called saltus. the limit of the oscillation in an interval containing a given point, as the length of the interval approaches zero.

1650–60; < Latin oscillātiōn- (stem of oscillātiō) a swinging, equivalent to oscillāt(us) (see oscillate) + -iōn- -ion

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World English Dictionary
oscillation (ˌɒsɪˈleɪʃən)
1.  physics, statistics
 a.  regular fluctuation in value, position, or state about a mean value, such as the variation in an alternating current or the regular swinging of a pendulum
 b.  a single cycle of such a fluctuation
2.  the act or process of oscillating

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1658, from Fr. oscillation, from L. oscillationem (nom. oscillatio), pp. of oscillare "to swing," supposed to be from oscillum "little face," lit. "little mouth," a mask of open-mouthed Bacchus hung up in vineyards to swing in the breeze.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

oscillation os·cil·la·tion (ŏs'ə-lā'shən)

  1. The act of oscillating.

  2. The state of being oscillated.

  3. A single oscillatory cycle.

  4. A stage in inflammation in which the accumulation of white blood cells in the small vessels arrests the passage of blood, thus causing a to-and-fro movement of the blood at each cardiac contraction.

os'cil·la'tion·al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
oscillation  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (ŏs'ə-lā'shən)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A repeating fluctuation in a physical object or quantity. See also attractor, harmonic motion.

  2. A single cycle of such fluctuation.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
These include not only fireflies but a number of other organisms and body cells
  that have a preferred rate of natural oscillation.
If no spot-changing oscillation were happening it should have seen only one or
He observed a small clockwise motion of the pendulum's apparent plane of
The maser oscillation persists as long as the hydrogen is fed into the system.
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