The vibrational energy dependence of the dissociative chemisorption probability of CH4 on W(110) is investigated with the use of a seeded supersonic molecular beam. By variation of the beam source temperature and seed gas mixture the degree of vibrational excitation of the incident CH4 molecules can be varied while the incident kinetic energy is held constant. The results are consistent with a model in which all vibrational modes are equally effective and vibrational energy and translational energy are approximately equivalent in promoting this highly activated process. Previous unsuccessful attempts to promote CH4 chemisorption on rhodium via vibrational excitation are consistent with our findings; we are also able to account for previous observations of enhancement of dissociative chemisorption in heated effusive beam experiments. © 1986 American Institute of Physics.