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vibratiuncula (plural vibratiunculæ or vibratiunculae or vibratiunculas)

  1. Alternative spelling of vibratiuncle
    • 1750: Elizabeth Carter, [letter from] Mrs. Carter to Miss Talbot (Deal, Dec. 1, 1750); printed in:
    • 1809: the Rev. Montagu Pennington, M.A., A Series of Letters Between Mrs. Elizabeth Carter and Miss Catherine Talbot, from the Year 1741 to 1770, volume 1, pages 366367 (printed for F. C. and J. Rivington by Law and Gilbert Printers, St. John’s-Square, London)
      [] I have upon the strength of your recommendation ventured again to look into Dr. Hartley; I was at first sufficiently puzzled with vibrations, but vibratiunculas are beyond all mortal sufferance, and for any thing I am likely to learn by this part of the book, it would be as much to my profit to read the history of Parismus and Parismenus. After all
      In vain we search the wondrous cause to find
      How mind on body, body acts on mind.
      (with many more quotations and quotatiunculas which might be alleged to the same purpose) and all hypotheses about it seem equally perplexed and ineffectual. But however unsatisfactory these kind of systems may be, they are by no means to be treated with contempt. They are the result of great powers of understanding and strong habits of thinking; and an ingenious author who means well, is to be indulged in some few harmless whims, as it often happens (in a way which perhaps it may be impossible for all vibrations and vibratiunculas in the world to account for) that obscure, and even in themselves useless speculations, lead to the discovery of evident and important truths.
    • 1809: George Walker, Essays on Various Subjects: To Which is Prefixed a Life of the Author‎, volume 2, essay viii: Probable arguments in favour of the immateriality of the soul, page 51
      There is another illustration, which at least confers more dignity on the subject, than any tale of vibrations and vibratiunculæ can do.
    • 1822: John Robison, David Brewster, and James Watt, A System of Mechanical Philosophy, page 476
      Nothing therefore is more unwarrantable, or more plainly shews the precipitant presumption of modern sciolists, than the familiar use of the general theory of aerial undulations in their attempts to explain the abstruse phenomena of nature (such as the communication of sensation from the organ to the sensorium by the vibrations of a nervous fluid, the reciprocal communication of the volitions from the sensorium to the muscle, nay, the whole phenomena of mind), by vibrations and vibratiunculæ.
    • 1969: Gian Napoleone Giordano Orsini, Coleridge and German Idealism: A Study in the History of Philosophy with Unpublished Materials from Coleridge’s Manuscripts, 19{1} and 206{2} (Southern Illinois University Press)
      {1} This “peculiar system” centered in the doctrine of “miniature vibrations” or vibratiunculae: “sensory vibrations” in the body cause a tendency to “diminutive vibrations” in the brain, []
      {2} From this vantage point in Schelling’s idealism, Coleridge could look down upon his early empiricist masters, such as Hartley with his vibratiunculae.
    • 2002: Tim Fulford, Romanticism and science, 1773–1833, page 65 (Taylor & Francis; →ISBN, 9780415219532)
      For, if intelligence and design be nothing but a certain modification of the vibratiunculæ or undulations of any kind, what is supreme intelligence, but a more extensive, and (perhaps they will call it) refined undulation, pervading or mixing with all others?



Diminutive of vibrātiō (brandishing, vibration, agitation), from vibrō (brandish, shake, agitate).


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /wi.braː.tiˈ, [wɪ.braː.tiˈʊŋ.kʊ.ɫa]


vibrātiuncula f (genitive vibrātiunculae); first declension

  1. A little or slight vibration or agitation.


First-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative vibrātiuncula vibrātiunculae
Genitive vibrātiunculae vibrātiunculārum
Dative vibrātiunculae vibrātiunculīs
Accusative vibrātiunculam vibrātiunculās
Ablative vibrātiunculā vibrātiunculīs
Vocative vibrātiuncula vibrātiunculae


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