Definition of microwave in US English:



  • 1An electromagnetic wave with a wavelength in the range 0.001–0.3 m, shorter than that of a normal radio wave but longer than those of infrared radiation. Microwaves are used in radar, in communications, and for heating in microwave ovens and in various industrial processes.

    • ‘According to the pigeon enthusiasts, powerful electromagnetic microwave radiation is destroying the birds' sense of direction.’
    • ‘Nor could you know whether it has an electromagnetic field or whether it is strongly emitting gamma rays, X rays, ultraviolet radiation, microwaves, or radio waves.’
    • ‘The catch is that radar uses radio waves in the microwave frequency range, or approximately one centimeter in wavelength.’
    • ‘Digital cell phones send out compressed information through microwave pulses of electromagnetic radiation.’
    • ‘There are radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light, X-rays and gamma rays, all of which form what is known as the ‘electromagnetic spectrum’.’
    • ‘Because microwaves have wavelengths longer than even invisible infrared radiation, they are observed in the radio region of the spectrum with radio telescopes.’
    • ‘I could see the radio waves, microwaves, gamma rays, and other optical and non-optical radiation that black holes naturally give off.’
    • ‘I am looking for any information on the Doppler radars and the effects of microwave radiation.’
    • ‘The structures refract, or bend, different types of electromagnetic radiation - such as radar, microwaves, or visible light - in ways natural substances can't.’
    • ‘Our bodies use both electrical and chemical communication, and non-ionizing radiation such as microwaves and electricity from power lines can seriously interfere with homoeostasis in the body.’
    • ‘All the light that we see is made from electromagnetic waves, and so are infra-red and ultraviolet light, microwaves, radio waves and X-rays.’
    • ‘For example, the belief that radio waves or microwaves can be used to cause a person to hear voices transmitted to him seems unlikely.’
    • ‘They emit electromagnetic radiation called low intensity pulsed microwave radiation.’
    • ‘Lights that we cannot see like radio waves, microwaves and x-rays fall on either end of the visible spectrum of light.’
    • ‘This astrophysical shortfall came about because an entire window of the electromagnetic spectrum - microwaves - hadn't yet been opened.’
    • ‘Other examples of the non-ionizing part of the electromagnetic spectrum include AM and FM radio waves, microwaves, and infrared waves from heat lamps.’
    • ‘Molecular absorption spectra are observed in the infrared and microwave portion of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum.’
    • ‘In my universe, what we hear are sound waves, not portions of the electromagnetic spectrum (as microwaves are).’
    • ‘Electromagnetic radiation is a term that describes energy waves and includes microwaves, infrared and visible light, as well as ultraviolet light and X-rays.’
    • ‘Turbine blades also emit microwave radiation which can interfere with planes' primary radar, secondary surveillance radar and navigation aids.’
    1. 1.1
      short for microwave oven
      • ‘Some people like to cook food partially in the microwave oven or on the stove to reduce smoking time.’
      • ‘Soften the butter briefly in a warm place in the kitchen or in a microwave oven until very soft but not melted.’
      • ‘A derivation of this technique is to use the silica in combination with a microwave oven.’
      • ‘Doctors warned today of the dangers of eggs exploding after being heated in a microwave oven and leading to serious injuries.’
      • ‘You can do practically every kind of food preparation using an efficient microwave oven, without the fuss or the mess that could result from using an oven with a gas flame.’
      • ‘Plastic syringes can be heat sterilized in a microwave oven.’
      • ‘The microwave oven in your lounge or kitchen has not been cleared by the FDA for medical use.’
      • ‘Many do feel that the food cooked in the microwave oven is not tasty.’
      • ‘You will be questioned as to how often you invite guests for meals and whether you have a microwave oven, a refrigerator and a deep freezer.’
      • ‘I would also point out that many of our clients can't cook their own meals and don't own a microwave oven.’
      • ‘Could you write instructions for a microwave oven?’
      • ‘I don't cook without a microwave oven, not these days I don't.’
      • ‘Use a microwave oven or counterop appliances instead of your stove top or oven.’
      • ‘Just like microwaves from a microwave oven, they pass right through the food and leave no direct contamination.’
      • ‘But that is not stopping any potential owner of a frost-free refrigerator or a microwave oven.’
      • ‘If you have cold leftover cooked potatoes, plain or mashed, reheat them in a microwave oven until steaming, then measure.’
      • ‘Also up for grabs were walking sticks, Zimmer frames, wheelchairs, microwaves, refrigerators and industrial vacuum cleaners.’
      • ‘Food cooked in a microwave oven does not present a radiation risk.’
      • ‘I don't use microwaves because the radiation will kill you.’
      • ‘Soften the palm sugar in a microwave oven at high heat for about 10 seconds.’


[with object]
  • Cook (food) in a microwave oven.

    • ‘The damp spinach can be microwaved without adding additional water.’
    • ‘Not many people are aware that a medium sized potato can be microwaved in 6 minutes, compared to 8 minutes for rice.’
    • ‘You are right to point out that I overlooked the scientific inaccuracy of the previous questioner and focused instead on the food being microwaved.’
    • ‘However, the heat generated by microwaving oil-based foods such as fish, nuts or seeds leads to rapid breakdown of essential fats.’
    • ‘It was bad enough with people microwaving food right next to all the equipment I had to store securely (by keeping it in cardboard boxes on my table).’
    • ‘Braising, steaming, poaching, stewing, and microwaving meats minimize the production of these chemicals.’
    • ‘Yesterday I ate a salad that came frozen, and needed to be microwaved for four minutes.’
    • ‘He also stated that plastic wrap placed over foods as they are microwaved and freezing your water using plastic water bottles will also release dangerous dioxins into your food and water.’
    • ‘The modern equivalent, recommended by Lawrence, is to make a weekly batch and freeze it in bags to be microwaved each morning.’
    • ‘Grilling, steaming or microwaving food rather than frying or roasting means less fat is added during cooking.’
    • ‘It can be microwaved, under cling film, for three to four minutes, depending on the thickness of the shoots, and then left to stand for another three minutes.’
    • ‘We microwaved a pizza and had a few drinks to celebrate the closure of business and I pretended to be sleepy drunk.’
    • ‘I microwaved the ice cream for 45 seconds and voila!’
    • ‘I microwaved an old doughnut today, and it was at once both hot enough to burn my tongue but tasty enough to be worth it.’
    • ‘This is a very tolerant risotto variant and can be microwaved uncovered.’
    • ‘He said, and I quote, ‘cooking is an act of love, but microwaving frozen food for your children is an act of hate’.’
    • ‘Stay near the oven when microwaving popcorn, heat buildup can cause a fire.’
    • ‘I was trying to microwave some soya beans for snacking.’
    • ‘Ree microwaved the food and they settled down in front of the television.’
    • ‘This whole ‘link plus commentary’ business is about as difficult as microwaving a burrito.’