Os"cil*late (?), v. i. [imp. &
p. p. Oscillated (?); p. pr. & vb.
n. Oscillating (?).] [L. oscillare to swing,
fr. oscillum a swing, a little mask or puppet made to be hung
from trees and swing in the wind, prob. orig., a little mouth, a dim.
from os mouth. See Oral, and cf. Osculate.]
1. To move backward and forward; to vibrate
like a pendulum; to swing; to sway.
2. To vary or fluctuate between fixed limits;
to act or move in a fickle or fluctuating manner; to change
repeatedly, back and forth.
The amount of superior families oscillates
rather than changes, that is, it fluctuates within fixed
limits. Dc Quincey.