The most common use of the word vibrant can be seen in the context of colour or music. Vibrant colours are very lively or filled with emotions such as yellow, orange, red, or any flashy colours. In terms of music, vibrancy can be seen through the use of staccato or various changing tones to symbolize rebirth of a sudden shift in moods. This is actually the modern use of the word vibrant and was adopted only after the 1860s when a new definition was established as vigorous or full of life.
The actual definition word came from the Latin word vibratem (1550) meaning swaying. This turned into the present participle French word vibrare and later became the word vibrate.
This is why the original definitions of the word vibrant are so closely oriented to vibrate, meaning swaying back and forth and shaking: the original Latin form of the word is directly shared with the word vibrate. There are two different connotations of the word, emotionally swaying—the sudden shift of emotions—and physically swaying—vibrating. And this is not to say that the old uses of the word vibrant are obsolete. People still use the word vibrant to describe strings or other physical materials that vibrate.
The modern usage of the word is actually quite close to the original definition of the word vibrant. Vibrant colours are more dynamic and can be seen to show emotions from both ends of the emotional spectrum, relating to the swaying of emotions. Likewise, music can demonstrate the showing of many different emotions based on tonal differences.
Although the word vibrant can be used in both ends of the emotional spectrum, large corporations tend to milk this word by only including its positive context. For example, Samsung released the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant in 2010. The name was decided on a basis that the phone has many fascinating and distinct features which show excitement and liveliness: a revolutionary sleek design, and a new Android interface that was never thought of before. However, because the word vibrant can be used for all aspects of the emotional spectrum, not only positive emotions, the phone name is somewhat of a misnomer.
The word vibrant can be an adjectival heaven: starting from its original uses as swaying, all the way to the introduction of the new definition of vigorous and full of life has introduced another unlimited possibility of uses of the word.
1. "vibrant, adj.". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. http://http://www.oed.com/view/Entry /223053(accessed November 21, 2012).